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Pottery and Ceramics Glaze

Glazing Defects And Remedies

There are many things that can go wrong with a glaze.
Even after testing and compensating for the composition of local ingredients when using popular recipes from books or other countries, a lot of things can go wrong. Here are the most common glaze defects and some suggestions on how to fix them.

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Common Glaze Terms
Toxic Ingredients used in Glazes
Alternative Glaze Materials
Troubleshooting Glaze Cracking
Glazing Defect and Remedies
Glaze Dipping
High Bisque Low Glaze
Making a Hydrometer
What is an Overglaze
Lead Testing an Overglaze
Refinishing Bought Pottery
Surface Tension and Glazing
Salt Firing Glaze
Choosing Your Colors
Firing Copper Matte
Glaze Recipes
Crystals in the Glaze
Crystalite Glazes
Crystalline Glazes
Crystal Glazes
Earthenware Glazes
Troubleshooting Crystal Glazes
Oil Spot Glaze
Mojolica Method
Raw Glazing Pottery
Red, Yellow and Orange Glazes
Making Test Tiles for Glazes
Shino Glaze
Glaze Settling
Clear Dipping Glaze
Using a Viscosity Cup


Glaze Crazing
One of the most common glaze defects is crazing, although in some cases crazing is a sought after effect, in which case it's called a Crackle Glaze.
Crazing will occur when the glaze doesn't fit the clay body.
The glaze shrinks more than the clay during the cooling causing the glaze to crack like a spider web.
Crazing can occur after a piece has been fired.
You can hear a bowl or platter making a pinging noise long after firing, this is the glaze cracking.
Crazing can also occur over centuries, as can be seen in many older wares, when they were new, they would have looked OK.


Add silica to the clay body
Add silica to the glaze
Add alumina to the glaze
Soak the kiln

Pin holing

Glaze Pinholes

When small dots of unglazed or depressed areas appear in the glaze surface, this is called pin holing.
Pin holing happens when gases in the glaze and clay bubble up to the surface.
The gas bubbles pop and a hole appears, which doesn't heal over.


Fire the glaze higher
Soak the kiln
Wipe all dust off of your bisque
Spray bisque lightly with water prior to glazing


Blistering of the Pottery Glaze

When a glaze has a bubbled, lava like surface, it is called blistering.
There are some so called lava glazes which are specifically formulated to blister.
This effect occurs when the gases that are released from the glaze become trapped in the glaze form before they can escape and the glaze smooth over.
This can be due to underfiring or overfiring.


Fire Slower
Reduce kiln atmosphere less.

Blistering in the Glaze


Glaze Crawling

The glaze pulls together and forms separate droplets on the surface of the clay body. Crawling occurs when the glaze contracts too much during the heating cycle and doesn't get a sufficient chance to smooth over.
Another cause may be due to bad adhesion of the glaze, for instance when glaze is applied to a very dusty pot or the bisque is fired to hot resulting in it not being able to absorb the glaze when it is painted on.


Substitute some of the clay content of the glaze with kaolin
Substitute glaze fluxes such as zinc oxide and dolomite in their calcined form
Clean off any dust with a sponge prior to glazing.


Shiver Glaze

Shivering happens when a glaze doesn't shrink as much as the clay body.
When this happens parts of the glaze crack and move against each other lifting off from the clay surface.
This can be so bad that pieces of glaze will actually fall off the surface.


Reduce silica in the clay body
Reduce silica in the glaze
Reduce alumina in the glaze

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Have you ever come up with a good idea while working with your handmade pottery and thought that you would like to share it with others? You have? Well, why not send it to us and we will add it to the tips page for all to see.

Handmade pottery can be a very gratifying hobby that produces fun and satisfying results. For many people it's an enjoyable release that is created by working an inanimate mound of clay into a beautiful work of art that you made through your artistic abilities.

The best way of starting out is to take a few lessons from Youtube. You will probably waste quite a bit in materials when you first get started. Figuring out how to truly make handmade pottery correctly and shape into what you want it to be can be quite an ordeal. The different tools that a normal shop will have can be fun to try. You will soon see which ones you like to use the most and then when you are ready you will know which ones to buy.

With the help of the internet, you can now purchase most if not all of your ceramic and pottery tools and supplies online. We are located far from any well supplied dealers and yet working with reliable ceramic and pottery suppliers online has allowed us to recieve most of our orders within a timely manner.

When you get all set up, just enjoy the hobby and have fun at it. Some people get pretty serious and start selling their creations at craft fairs and small stores, but others just like to create items for themselves, relatives, and friends. Whichever kind of handmade pottery you desire to endeavor, enjoy the hobby and have fun doing it.

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