The basics of glazing ceramics
The basics of glazing ceramics

It’s always exciting when you Get to glaze your pots finally And you get to take them from Looking pink and looking like Everyone else’s To something that really really Beautiful and unique So today we’re going to talk About glazing and Just the very basics of how we’re Going to do it The first thing you want to Think about is it actually BISQUE WARE And that’s a new term for us Bisque ware means it’s been fired In the electric kilns once Which means it is no longer GREEN WARE And first let us discuss the Difference between green ware And bisque ware One of the first things you Will notice is the color difference Green ware even when it’s really really dry Bone dry it’s actually more gray than pink Another thing you will notice is the Sound that it makes when you hit Your fingernail or a metal tool on it When you hit this one There is a clunk, clunk, clunk Almost a hollow sound like when you’re Hitting a pumpkin or a melon And when you hit the bique ware There is a very bright sound More like a wind chime or a bell So that’s one thing you can look for If you want to get really weird You can actually lick your pot And if you lick the bisque ware pot Your tongue will stick to it And it will not stick to the green ware pot But I don’t recommend licking your Friend’s pots because you don’t know Where their germs have been So we look at the color We look at the sound and then worse-case scenario If you’re really confused You can ask me and I will tell you Whether it’s ready to glaze of not So now that we have decided that it is Actually bisque ware I want to Talk to you about the importance Of not putting glaze on the bottom Of your pot If you notice this already glazed bowl It has a ring on the bottom like the Foot ring on this bowl that has no glaze on
it And the reason that is, that’s called a DRY FOOT And that’s also a new vocab term The reason you want to have a dry foot On the bottom of your pot is because Glaze doesn’t know the difference between The pot you are glazing and the kiln shelf So if you put glaze on the bottom of your
pot And stick it on a kiln shelf what ends up Happening is after it melts You get a bowl attached to a kiln shelf And that’s not really useful unless you’re Super strong and want to lift a kiln shelf Every time you’re slurping you’re cereal milk So you need to make sure there is no glaze On the bottom Potters used to just glaze their pots And then wipe the bottom off with a sponge But we have a trick that we use That will make it a lot easier And what we use is wax Let me see if it’s even labeled And so what we are going to do is Think about all the spots that are Touching the kiln shelf Plus a little bit up the wall On each side And as I’m waxing this I’ll tell you Why that’s important First I’m covering the bottom Of each pot with wax And then you’ll notice that This foot ring is about a Quarter inch up on either side And what we’re going to do is We’re going to put wax all the Way up until it reaches the bottom of the
bowl And the reason we want to do that is Because each glaze is a little bit different We’ve talked about the fact that Glaze has silica in it And silica is a glass former And when there is a lot of silica in a glaze Or a lot of flux which is what Makes the glaze melt The glaze actually relaxes in the kiln And I like to think of it as shrugging down And it could potentially touch the kiln shelf So we need a little bit of wiggle room In case the glaze decides to run down The foot of our pot a little bit All right, so now we’ve done the outside And that usually the side people remember
to do A lot of times what people forget that The inside of their foot ring needs to be Waxed also Otherwise it’s going to stick on the inside All right In one of the next glazing videos I’ll show you how to use a banding wheel Which makes this process a lot faster And a little bit less cumbersome So when we glaze this We’ll be glazing this part of our pot The very bottom and the inside And so next we need to talk About glazes When you’re deciding what color of glaze You want to use you’re going to notice a Lot of test tiles that are either cups like This with ridges in the middle Or flat tiles that are L shaped They also have ridges in the middle Either way it’s going to tell you What the glaze is going to look like After it’s been fired So the reason this is important is that If you look in the glaze buckets You’re going to see colors like this This glaze is Temmoku or Hamada Rust Is another name of it And it actually turns out this color You’ll notice this side of the tile Where the ridges are Where it goes over the sharp edges it turns
brown So this would be a really good glaze To use if you had a lot of details on your
pot Because you’d be able to see the details better When it goes over the surface You can also see on the flip side That when you put it on thicker It turns black. So be cautious if you like this Kind of really rusty black and gold color That you put it on just with one coat vs two The backs of these tiles have two dips on
them Now that you’ve picked what color you’re going
to do You’re almost to the part where You actually get to glaze your pot But there’s one more thing you have to check
before You actually glaze it And that is to make sure the glaze Is the right consistency So if you look at the top of this glaze bucket What you might notice is that there is a Kind of liquidy, watery section on top that Isn’t the same as the rest of the glaze As I stir it up The clear section of water goes away as I
mix it And I’m also I kind of feeling around on the
bottom To make sure there are no big chunks Or whether on particular chemical has settles
on the bottom Sometimes people think that if the top Of the glaze is stirred up that’s good enough But really it’s not because some of the important Chemicals might be at the bottom And if you don’t get the right combination The glaze won’t turn out the way you want
it to And now that I’ve made sure there’re no chunks And it’s all the same consistency I want to think about what consistency that
is Ideally you want to be a little bit Thicker than whole milk You want it to be not super-chunky like oatmeal You want it to be runny enough that It goes onto your pot evenly But you don’t want it to be so thin That you don’t get enough glaze on there So if it’s like if it’s like thick Well-stirred hot chocolate That’s what I like to think about it All right When you’re glazing with any of the glazes That are red colored while they’re in liquid
form You want to be carefully about Getting them on your clothes because It means that they have iron oxide in them Which I said before is the same as rust So you want to make sure that if you Needed to wear an apron, you wear one Or bring an extra change of clothes from home So your parents aren’t mad at you for Getting glaze on your clothes Or just be super-careful when You’re using these glazes That have a lot of iron in them So what I’m going to do to glaze This bowl all one color is I’m Going to use this pair of thongs And I’m going to clamp the side And I’m going to make sure it is Firmly clamped before I let go Now when I put it in the glaze I going to make sure it gets all the way in And I’m going to hold it under for about A full second before I pull it out and Make sure all of the glaze is dumped out So you can see what that looks like So I’m going to go in One thousand one And then I make sure all of the Glaze is dumped out Make sure you also dump out the glaze That’s caught in the foot ring Some people forget about that And they end up splash that on their clothes You see that the glaze is drying fairly quickly And that wax is doing a really good job of Keeping that glaze of the bottom Next I’m going to flip it over And unclamp the pot And you’ll see there are these Little marks from where the tools were So what you can do is you can Put a tiny little bit of glaze On the inside If you have any cuts on your fingers Any wounds from other classes If you take Mr. Duvall’s class you’ll know What I talking about You’ll want to make sure that you Either use gloves or a paint brush Because you don’t want to get the Metals inside of your cut It’s not very good for you Since I don’t have any cuts on my finger I am confident I can smooth it all out All right if you see any of These smaller bumps on the surface Those will actually melt out Once it’s really hot So you don’t have to worry about Getting it perfectly smooth You just want to make sure It’s smooth in general You can see that there’re Some bumps on the inside And what you can do is Just take your finger and lightly sand them To make it smooth And now we can go over the sink And get it ready for the kiln To get your pot ready for the kiln You have to make sure you have a truly dry
foot Which means there is no glaze on the bottom So even though the wax did an excellent job Of keeping most of the glaze off You can still see that there’re still a few Spots on there So what I’m going to do is take a sponge And make sure I ring Most of the water out of it And then I going to give it a quick little
wipe To make sure that there’re no glaze spots Double check that I’ve gotten glaze All over everywhere on my piece of pottery And now I can take it out to the kiln And then it will be fired And then it will make an excellent Little ice cream bowl So some people might wonder Why I only put one coat of glaze On this particular piece And that was because the glaze was just The right thickness that when I dipped It once it gave a nice even coating Over the whole glaze I really like it when that Temmoku glaze Turns out with that rusty bown-black Combination If I wanted it to be solid black With this particular glaze I could dunk it a second time And that would make it darker However you want to make sure that You never put more than three layers of glaze That’s not a hard, set in stone number That’s just a rule that I generally use With the glazes in our studio Because if sometimes you put too much Glaze on a pot it will actually Run fairly heavily And this person got very lucky You can see this drip in particular Went all the way down and almost touched The kiln self but didn’t However some student haven’t gotten so lucky And their pottery becomes a permanent installation Of art on the shelves out in the kiln And they don’t get to take it home And it’s very, very frustrating And they also get to spend a lot of time Grinding the shelves for me Which isn’t super fun So just make sure that you’re not putting Glaze on too thick The other thing you need to make sure off In terms of caring for your glaze Before it gets to the kiln Is once it turns into this Dry, powdery chalk on the outside Be very carefully not to bang it Against any hard edges Or hit it with your fingernail Because you can actually flake Pieces of glaze off and then you won’t Have any glaze there and it won’t Look as nice Also let’s pretend you have two pots One with a glaze that’s very red And other glaze that is very white Make sure you wash your hands Before you touch the piece of pottery That’s isn’t the darker colored glaze Because it will transfer just like Chalk and powder to your clothes It will transfer to the other pieces Of pottery

66 thoughts on “The basics of glazing ceramics”

  1. enwar3 says:

    I know nothing about ceramics and this was an informative, well thought-out, and understandable summary of the basics. Thanks!

  2. Tessa Guildford says:

    Great video, thanks so much.  So often you search something to try and learn and it's just a creepy silent film and you don't really know what and why things are done 🙂

  3. one lonely Dude says:

    you kind went on a tangent there about your germephobia but ok

  4. Mutantslugprincess says:

    this video's a gem. im curious of how the bowl looked after firing!!!

  5. Dixsita Kothaari says:

    heyy your video is simply awesome… a huge help to me… can you please guide me as to what glaze to use.. like a name… that can get me a nice reddish purple colour to my ceramic wash basin… my email id is [email protected]

  6. 1995Benzo says:

    "Liked" as soon as you demonstrated the tapping technique to determine if the piece has been fired. I always used the color to determine, but this is nice to know! Thanks!

  7. Annoying Anomaly says:

    now i wanna lick my pots…

  8. Ms. FruFru says:

    Loved this video, and was looking forward to finding more with Christa, but can't find! Can you Please direct me to where I can find Christa? I'm a Real novice and her explanations are so crystal clear and interesting. Thanks.

  9. evrim ünal balçık says:

    it is a very informative excellent video. thank you very much Christa Schmeder 🙂

  10. Krysta Monique says:

    You can't put aluminum foil on the bottom so the glaze won't stick to the kiln?

  11. Kay T. says:

    Why does the red glaze turn black? What color glaze would you use then if you wanted your glaze to actually be red, as opposed to black?

  12. Valerie Warren says:

    thanks for sharing you reminded me of the steps I learned in my ceramic class. I have a bowl and cup I fired but didn't glaze is there a way I can paint at home . I'm hoping theirs a place I can go .

  13. Ashlynn Zulinski says:

    So do you take the wax off before you put the pot into the kiln for firing?

  14. elissette rodriguez says:

    I love the way that you teaching, i love it so much thanks for the tutorial.

  15. Yano says:

    Not that I don't agree that Bisque was fired but it didn't have to be in electric kiln 🙂

  16. Atul Baldi says:

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  17. Hey There says:

    If you listen closely, you can hear the unsettling noise of the cameraman's heavy breaving.

  18. PotteryPie Com says:

    Very descriptive and informative! Thanks for the video!

  19. Marcelo DeO says:

    I guess most of the viewers would have liked to see a picture of the finished bowl at the end of the video. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Irin Moirangthem says:

    i love your clip.i love pottery but i now nothing about its coloring will be so thankful if u upload more about the basics of ceramic oxides.

  21. Dragon says:

    glaze my jugs, daddy!

  22. Ann Baker says:

    This video is so helpful for beginners. I'm getting into ceramics and had no idea about waxing. Thank you!

  23. Janet Barben says:

    what type of wax is that? can you use any wax?

  24. Rebecca Busby says:

    Would love to see tutorial on using clear glaze for pieces that have been painted using underglaze. I am really new to ceramics and the glazing process makes me nervous! Thanks!!

  25. TheMrRSHARMA says:

    Hey not only you show it well you sound and look sexy and divine. Just a compliment madam

  26. Mixin Green says:

    is it possible to glaze old gardening pots?

  27. js op says:

    Hi. Is glaze the seme as enamel?

  28. Ann Hogg says:

    Can you tell me what wax is used thank you.brilliant video please keep them coming.

  29. Emmanuel Goldstein says:

    Nice glasses. I hear that design has +2 to detect patriarchy.

  30. Judi Calhoun says:

    What is that wax product called?
    Brand name?

  31. TOP FineGummed says:

    I was actually searching for primitive glaze recipes but I'm very glad I stumbled onto this.

  32. Frank Gambino says:

    Can you glaze a bowl made from concrete?

  33. FARZANA NISHAD says:

    Hi…a gud video.I hope u could help me too…I have a clay pitcher with a tap.I soaked it overnight in à bucket of water…dried it n filled water.What i noticed is dat the sweat collects and fills up the bowl its placed in.Didnt spot any cracks as such.The 2nd time I filled it….same thing happens.Please help as to what needa to be done so dat my family could enjoy earthern cool water from the pitcher.

  34. Luca Dondoni says:

    very nice

  35. bertandfernie says:

    ughhh this is so annoying i just want to know how to glaze so it ends up like the blue bowl! i'm looking everywhere and cannot find a single set of instructions as to how to achieve this, just loads of dumb tutorials about how to do a single coat of glaze, like anyone would need a tutorial for that??? 🙁

  36. Ashlyn TheMurderer says:

    I just want to know if I glaze or paint first or glaze, paint, glaze. On a project my boyfriend made me

  37. BabyNush says:

    where can you purchase the wax?

  38. Bald Bastard says:

    ROFLMFAO licking the ware

  39. Bonnie Manning says:

    Please refrain from licking your friend’s pot.

  40. Jason Markson says:

    The most articulate video I have seen, Thank you

  41. TitusLivy777 says:

    This woman is an excellent teacher! As in…excellent!!!

  42. Simon Parker says:

    Can I thin glaze that is too thick with water?

  43. ආභරණ ලංකා says:

    I actually love pottery but I really don’t know how to glaze and what are the chemicals want make the glaze liquid.. can u tell me ma’am how to make this brown color liquid,, and the names of chemical

  44. Thọ Nguyễn says:

    i need wax , where i can buy it?

  45. Victor Cruz says:

    Do you always need to fire pottery after painting it? Can't I just go on a date at a park and paint pots?

  46. Red Queen Official says:

    But where do we get this wax from? What is it called? Where do I get the food-safe glaze at? What paint do I paint the bowl with and how do I glaze it? Does the bowl go in the oven after glaze is applied? Me and my friend are trying to make a custom water dish-pool for our pet snakes’ terrariums but I absolutely can’t find any proper information on how to make a dish from scratch.

  47. Terry Nicholson says:

    What kind of wax are you using? Do you use kiln wash or paper in kiln? Thank you

  48. Robert Williams says:


  49. Sarah and Mathew toy show says:

    Do you have Instagram ?

  50. Jane 505 says:

    I wasn't going to watch this as so many youtube videos are a waste of time, but this one was superb. You are an excellent teacher, Christa, and I would love to learn more from you. I love the added tips you mention. If you haven't done so already, I hope you produce a series on ceramics. Thank you!

  51. Libtards got Trumped says:

    I got my tongue stuck to the pot what should I do?

  52. Elhamy Sayed says:

    What is the clay components ?? Or it just clay from mother nature

  53. Herman Hermitz says:

    Final result was edited out because it did not turn out too well.

  54. Wendy Black says:

    Fascinating, "Christa," How do you remove glaze which has already hardened in the kiln?

  55. bonnie garson says:


  56. Michael S says:

    Beautifulllllll art ….thanks

  57. Carol Allison says:

    So we cant lick our friends pot, but can we still lick our friends?

  58. ID Craft says:

    Very nice! its beatiful!!!?

  59. keyovc Alpha-One9 says:

    When I glaze I use to paint it on and had good results. For some reason my pots were coming back with bubbles in the glaze even though I gave it the same two to three coats. After that I just paid extra to have the glaze done at the shop. I took my pottery to different shops so I figure that some firing settings were different and that's why some pots came back all jacked up.

  60. kulkarnipoojame says:

    What glaze color used here.?

  61. big hair says:

    Hi! I am refinining clay rich soil into clay at home, and do not have access to expensive electrical kilns or pure clay, and I would like to know what I can use to glaze highly impure greenware at temperatures achievable in a wood fire. If you could get back to me on this issue soon it would be highly appreciated!

  62. TNzi nabi says:

    Great video. Can I just ask you what sort of materials you've used and where to get them please.
    Thank you

  63. امجد الحسيني الحسيني says:

    What is the name of this material in which the pottery is immersed
    Can it be manufactured at home?

  64. Stanley Vo says:


  65. Ferdjani Houria says:

    Do you make the wax !?

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