Basic Introduction to Glazed Pottery

Arts & Crafts

Selecting the Best Glaze

Creating a piece of pottery can be a fun exercise, but it generally is not finished until it has been glazed. Many have been the times when a new student chooses a particular glaze because they like the colour, but it can look very different after it has been fired in a kiln. The reason for this is the fact that glazes have many components, and the heat of the kiln affects all of them in a particular fashion. Selecting the best glaze for a piece of pottery may take the help of an expert before the new student finds just what they want.

Some glazes will darken quite a bit when they are fired, and others may take two or three coats to get the piece to be as dark as the student would like it. Other glazes could look far too dark when they go on a piece, but the heat of firing them could lighten the colour. This is one reason it is important to understand how glazes work or get assistance with making a selection.

Many studios where people are taught to create pottery have their own display of finished pieces, and a student could choose their glaze based on a particular item. Finding out what glaze was used is a first step, but the novice should also ask how many layers of glaze were used. Knowing those two pieces of information could help them ensure their pieces comes out looking the way they envisioned it before the glazing process begins.

Starting in any craft means learning a lot of new knowledge, and there is plenty to find out when working with glazes. It is a step of pottery where there is no going back once the first layer has been applied, so being armed with the knowledge to make the best choice is where even a beginner can feel like an expert once they see their finished piece.