Glaze and Clay Body Recipes

Recipes here are for demo purposes. Read the explanatory information about how to adjust, how it was formulated, links to similar ones, links to ones earlier or later in the series. There are an unlimited number of ways to make any one of them fail, learn to understand glazes, learn to adjust recipes to work in your circumstances (rather than throw them out and search for one that might have even more problems). Get a good base that does not craze on your clay, that melts right, does not leach, is compatible with your colors, does not settle in the bucket, applies well, etc. Once you have that base you can color it, opacify it, variegate it. But remember, Digitalfire has never been about trading recipes, we teach people to see glazes as oxide formulas instead. Our ultimate hope is that you will learn the chemistry so well that you can use software to prove demonstrate problem with a glaze posting here. That would vindicate the value of glaze chemistry. Be warned, "the illicit trade in glaze recipes" promises a pot of gold that is not there, it will take you down a 20 year road of wasted time.

The industrial ceramic world generally revolves around fancy production machines. But behind the scenes engineers and technicians are the real heroes, they supply the body and glaze recipes that make the machines work and they adapt these to the requirements of the machine. Actually, in most cases this is not true, suppliers actually provide ready-made recipes, the factories just use them and complain to supplier technical support when there are problems. In the pottery world the opposite situation exists. There is a 'recipe culture', tens-of-thousands are available in textbooks and on the internet. Many people carefully guard their recipes, adapting their production techniques and equipment to them (and often exercising great patience tolerating less-than-ideal behaviors).

In both cases the recipes are not generally 'understood' by production staff. That means they are not controlled. People do not know why each ingredient is in a recipe or even what each is. They generally do not understand how a recipe might be adjusted to fix a problem, or, be better adapted to their production situation. Most critically, they do not understand how to evaluate problems and ask the right questions. This is the reason why we recommend a material-centered ceramic knowledge universe and a production situation where technical staff at a facility have control and understanding. Understanding materials means knowing their mineralogy, their physical properties, and most import, their chemistry. Using these materials in recipes means it is necessary to understand how they interact and contribute their their physical properties and oxide chemistry. Recipes in this section are presented with links to material and oxide information, putting them into the proper context. We intend that you adjust any recipe you find here to adapt it to your situation.

By Tony Hansen

See Also

  • Why Textbook Glazes Are So Difficult

    The trade is glaze recipes has spawned generations of potters going up blind alleys trying recipes that don't work and living with ones that are much more trouble than they are worth. It is time to leave this behind and take control.

  • Where Do I Start?

    Break your addiction to online recipes that don't work. Get control. Learn why glazes fire as they do. Why each material is used. Some chemistry. How to create perfect dipping and drying properties. Be empowered. Adjust recipes with issues rather than sta

  • Glaze Recipes: Formulate Your Own Instead

    The only way you will ever get the glaze you really need is to formulate your own. The longer you stay on the glaze recipe treadmill the more time you waste.

  • The Four Levels on Which to View Ceramic Glazes

    By knowing which level to view a glaze from you are much better equipped to understand and control it. The levels are process, recipe, material, oxide.

  • Batch Recipe

    The term 'batch' refers to the actual mixture of materials that you weigh out when you prepare a glaze or clay body batch for production or testing. The term 'recipe' is more correct than 'formula', the latter refers to the chemistry of the mix. Glaze software is used to calculate the chemistry of a...

  • Concentrate on One Good Glaze

    It is better to understand and have control of one good base glaze than be at the mercy of dozens of imported recipes that do not work. There is a lot more to being a good glaze than fired appearance.

  • Variegating Glazes

    This is an overview of the various mechanisms you can employ to make glazes dance with color, crystals, highlights, speckles, rivulets, etc.

  • Lesson 5A - Glaze Formula to Batch Calculations

    Shows you how to use a non-unity calculation and the supply button to convert a formula into a batch recipe. You will find out how to match a target formula exactly using theoretical materials and how...

  • Trafficking in Glaze Recipes

    The trade is glaze recipes has spawned generations of potters going up blind alleys trying recipes that don't work and living with ones that are much more trouble than they are worth. It is time to leave this behind and take control.

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