Cone 04 UltraClear Glossy Base

Code: G3879
Modification Date: 2019-10-03 11:13:07

Fusion Frit F-524850.082.9%
Fusion Frit F-6940.03.9%


I developed this for cone 04 to fit as many clay bodies (without crazing) as possible (my Zero3 clear works well on specific bodies but does not melt enough at cone 04 and it's thermal expansion is too high to fit some bodies). I am developing a recipe for a terracotta casting body at the same time as this and I am working to make it compatible also.

I found the inspiration for this on testing many commercial clears and finding one that stood above the others regarding fit and clarity at 04. I have always been under the impression that low fire bodies have a wide enough range of thermal expansions that one glaze cannot be expected to fit them all. And that if a glaze melts well at cone 04 it will have too much melt fluidity past cone 02. But this glaze has made me question both, I am shocked at how it is possible that it can fit so many bodies and work across such a wide temperature range. In fact, I have not found a body that it does not fit! So I had it analyzed at a lab and then created a recipe to source its chemistry. A stroke-of-luck was that a frit we already use to produce another glaze, Fusion Frit F-524, is close to the complete chemistry needed.

I have been surprised by other aspects of this recipe. It is crystal-clear on any body at any thickness (at cone 04 and above)! Additions of tin and zircon produce a white that melts just as well as the clear. It is amazing how the mobile the melt is, how it runs right off my fluidity checker! Yet it is not significent more mobile at cone 1 than cone 04. There is some kind of magic with this chemistry that I am anxious to learn more about.

While it hardens to a powdery surface, it is amazing how little gum solution is required to make it dry hard and hang on to the bisque when other layers are added on top.

For the first mix I added 3000g of powder to 2400g of water to produce a specific gravity of 1.48SG. This produced a watery slurry. I added epsom salts to the point where further additions did not thicken the slurry (up to a total of 7g). This improved it considerably but it was still a little thin (although it covered and applied like a typical dipping glaze, drying in seconds on bisque ware). However the surface was too powdery so I removed 400g of water and replaced it with 400g gum solution. This slowed dip time to about a minute (waiting for the dripping to stop) but it now tolerates thick overlaying of Majolica colors (without them pulling it away from the bisque). For a single-coat dipping (where no overglaze work will be done) I would use about half the amount of gum solution.

In Bound Links

XML to Paste Into Insight

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<recipes version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8">
<recipe name="Cone 04 Transparent Low-Expansion Base Glaze" keywords="A super transparent low fire base clear glaze created by reverse engineering a commercial product." id="141" date="2019-09-05" codenum="G3879">
<recipeline material="Fusion Frit F-524" amount="850.000" added="0"/>
<recipeline material="Fusion Frit F-69" amount="40.000" added="0"/>
<recipeline material="EPK" amount="90.000" added="0"/>
<recipeline material="Silica" amount="45.000" added="0"/>
<url url="" descrip="Recipe page at"/>

By Tony Hansen

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