Making my own Pottery Glazes

These past few months I have really submerged myself in learning all about making my own pottery glazes. I have tried to learn how to make pottery glazes in the past by reading and an online class but  my eyes just glazed over. This time around I really think I am beginning to get it. I guess it was all in life’s timing.
As I mentioned in my first post about this new endeavour I mentioned that I signed up for a class by Sue McCloud called “The Art of Glaze Chemistry”.

Please note this post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you click them and make a purchase.  This is, of course, at no cost to you, and I only share products that I use and love myself.

What she did, and what I needed, was a push to experiment with making pottery glazes!

On my own I would never do it, but for a class I paid for I was certainly going to do what she suggested. After all, that is basically what I paid for!! That Push to experiment.

I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, I came up with a few nice pottery glazes that I can call my own.

Green and Blue wheel thrown pottery vase
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Green and Blue wheel thrown pottery vase
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The lovely translucent green glaze on this vase was the results of one of the first experiments I did.

Like this sweet vase. It was thrown on the potters wheel in a dark clay and then I slathered on some white slip and ran my fingers through it. I wanted to be able to glaze it where I could see the contrast between the white slip and the dark clay but I knew nothing on my glaze shelf would do that.




So it sat on my shelf for a bit!

When I saw the glaze test tile come out of the kiln with this lovely translucent green I knew I had found the glaze I needed for this vase.

I wasn’t disappointed!!!! The base glaze is now a keeper recipe and I will be experimenting around with other colors. Here is the recipe if you are interested.

Another experiment we did was test different colorants with different RO Fluxes which can change the color slightly. Below is one of the sets of test tiles. The RO Flux was Wollastonite and the colorants I used were copper Carbonate, cobalt Carbonate, Manganese and Chrome Oxide.

Results of glaze experiment
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Results of glaze experiment
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Here are the results from one of the tests. Here I tried the same base glaze with copper carb, cobalt carb, manganese and Chrome Oxide

I got some really pretty glazes in that batch but look what happened when I used Zinc as the RO Flux

Total Mayhem with Cobalt and Manganese and the CHROME turned PINK!! Now that’s cool!

Color Glaze Experiment using Zinc as a Flux
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Color Glaze Experiment using Zinc as a Flux
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Well this was unexpected (for me) the Copper and the Manganese did not play well and the chrome turned pink.

It did take me a bit to wrap my head around all the chemistry involved. Although I sure don’t have a 100% understanding I do “get it” more than I did in the past.

Follow Me

Dani Montoya - Potter
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My name is Dani and I am the potter behind this page! I am retired and having a ball being the artist I always wanted to be. My studio is located in NW Arkansas where I live a quiet life, on a lake with my husband, 3 dogs and two cats.

Have a look around!

Digital Scale

Etekcity 0.1g Food Kitchen Scale, Digital Ounces and Grams for Cooking, Baking, Meal Prep, Dieting, and Weight Loss, 11 Pounds, Black
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This is the scale I use for both weighing out glaze material and to weight packages for shipping. I love that the display is angled away from the weighting tray making it easy to read. Metric and Imperial weighing.
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Kiln Wash

Penguin Pottery - 16 oz Liquid Kiln Wash - Ready to Use - No Need to Mix - Prevent Glaze from Sticking to Kiln Shelves
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Pottery Rasp for cleaning up clay


Mudtools Small Clay Shredder Rasp for Ceramics Artists, Pottery, Clay - Yellow
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100 ml Graduated Cylinder

Brewing America 100ml Plastic Graduated Cylinder Beaker - 100ml Science Measuring Test Tube Flask, 2-Sided Marking - Black and Raised Graduation Lines, Pour Spout
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I have found one of these 100 ml graduated cylinders invaluable when making and using glazes. Its makes figuring out the Specific Gravity of a glaze much easier

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Clear Plastic Cups With Flat Lids 12 oz.

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I know this looks weird on an article about glaze making but when I am experimenting with different glazes I don’t make more than 200 ML. These cups hold 12 ounces and they have a nice lid to keep the glaze from evapoating while you wait to see what comes out of the kiln!
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