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  • Writer's pictureKatherine Fortnum

What is a glaze?

Updated: Mar 6, 2022

You may have heard the term glaze used when talking about ceramics, but what does it mean?


In short, glaze is a hard durable coating on a piece of ceramic, its purpose can be for decoration or to make ceramic pieces water tight and allow it to hold water or food.

An example of glaze is the smooth shiny coating that is on your mugs and dinner plates.

A glaze can be shiny, smooth, matte, lumpy, crackled, speckled, opaque, glossy... it all depends what ingredients have gone into making it. The ingredients in a glaze all determine what a glaze will look like in texture, colour and finish.

A combination of different materials will act differently together, e.g. you can have 2 recipes with exactly the same ingredients in, in the same quantities but one has one ingredient substituted, it could change it from red to green or matte to shiny.

I hand make all of my glazes from scratch, if I told my 15 year old self that all those elements I studied in science on the periodic table I’d be using now I’d never have believed myself!

I feel like a scientist! #parttimeartistparttimescientist

It’s my favourite part of ceramics; I like to think of it as weighing out ingredients like I’m making a cake!

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