Applying glaze to your pottery pieces is not a necessary step in pottery, but it is most definitely an enhancer to making your pottery twice as creative and beautiful. When applying glaze and than firing your pottery, you are making the piece become vitreous and almost glass like. The outcome is beyond stunning. The glaze itself comes in over one thousand different colors, styles and textures for pottery fanatics to choose from. For most individuals, the glazing step is one of the most looked forward to steps in pottery making.
When you first add any glaze to pottery, the color and texture will look much differently than what it will after it has been fired. The high temperature of the kiln causes a very strong chemical reaction in the glazes that will end up altering their appearance completely. This is one of the most exciting processes to watch for any first time pottery creators as you can experiment with different temperatures to see how each temperature affects the color of a specific glaze. As you going higher in temperatures, your glazes will grow brighter and shine more vividly.
Below are the names of different types of glazes and how the firing process affects them. It is always important to read the label of the glaze you are purchasing so you know whether that particular type of glaze is the most efficient for your project.
Breaking Glaze - This glaze changes color quickly and is known for the transparency to either thin or thicken while it is being fired.
Flowing Glazed - Flowing glaze tends to bleed and move while it is being fired.
Stiff Glazee - A stiff glaze is the opposite of flowing glaze and stays in the same place while it is being fired.
In this video Christa Schmeder discusses the basics of glazing pottery: