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A Low Cost Tester of Glaze Melt Fluidity
A One-speed Lab or Studio Slurry Mixer
A Textbook Cone 6 Matte Glaze With Problems
Adjusting Glaze Expansion by Calculation to Solve Shivering
Alberta Slip, 20 Years of Substitution for Albany Slip
An Overview of Ceramic Stains
Are You in Control of Your Production Process?
Are Your Glazes Food Safe or are They Leachable?
Attack on Glass: Corrosion Attack Mechanisms
Ball Milling Glazes, Bodies, Engobes
Binders for Ceramic Bodies
Bringing Out the Big Guns in Craze Control: MgO (G1215U)
Ceramic Glazes Today
Ceramic Material Nomenclature
Ceramic Tile Clay Body Formulation
Changing Our View of Glazes
Chemistry vs. Matrix Blending to Create Glazes from Native Materials
Concentrate on One Good Glaze
Cone 6 Floating Blue Glaze Recipe
Copper Red Glazes
Crazing and Bacteria: Is There a Hazard?
Crazing in Stoneware Glazes: Treating the Causes, Not the Symptoms
Creating a Non-Glaze Ceramic Slip or Engobe
Creating Your Own Budget Glaze
Crystal Glazes: Understanding the Process and Materials
Deflocculants: A Detailed Overview
Demonstrating Glaze Fit Issues to Students
Diagnosing a Casting Problem at a Sanitaryware Plant
Drying Ceramics Without Cracks
Duplicating Albany Slip
Duplicating AP Green Fireclay
Electric Hobby Kilns: What You Need to Know
Fighting the Glaze Dragon
Firing Clay Test Bars
Firing: What Happens to Ceramic Ware in a Firing Kiln
First You See It Then You Don't: Raku Glaze Stability
Fixing a glaze that does not stay in suspension
Formulating a Clear Glaze Compatible with Chrome-Tin Stains
Formulating a Porcelain
Formulating Ash and Native-Material Glazes
Formulating Your Own Clay Body
G1214M Cone 5-7 20x5 Glossy Base Glaze
G1214W Cone 6 Transparent Base Glaze
G1214Z Cone 6 Matte Base Glaze
G1916M Cone 06-04 Base Glaze
G1947U/G2571A Cone 10/10R Base Matte/Glossy Glazes
Getting the Glaze Color You Want: Working With Stains
Glaze and Body Pigments and Stains in the Ceramic Tile Industry
Glaze Chemistry Basics - Formula, Analysis, Mole%, Unity, LOI
Glaze chemistry using a frit of approximate analysis

Glaze Types, Formulation and Application in the Tile Industry
Having Your Glaze Tested for Toxic Metal Release
High Gloss Glazes
How a Material Chemical Analysis is Done
How desktop INSIGHT Deals With Unity, LOI and Formula Weight
How to Find and Test Your Own Native Clays
How to Liner-Glaze a Mug
I've Always Done It This Way!
Inkjet Decoration of Ceramic Tiles
Is Your Fired Ware Safe?
Leaching Cone 6 Glaze Case Study
Limit Formulas and Target Formulas
Low Budget Testing of the Raw and Fired Properties of a Glaze
Low Fire White Talc Casting Body Recipe
Make Your Own Ball Mill Stand
Making Glaze Testing Cones
Monoporosa or Single Fired Wall Tiles
Organic Matter in Clays: Detailed Overview
Outdoor Weather Resistant Ceramics
Overview of Paper Clay
Painting Glazes Rather Than Dipping or Spraying
Particle Size Distribution of Ceramic Powders
Porcelain Tile, Vitrified or Granito Tile
Rationalizing Conflicting Opinions About Plasticity
Ravenscrag Slip is Born
Recylcing Scrap Clay
Reducing the Firing Temperature of a Glaze From Cone 10 to 6
Single Fire Glazing
Soluble Salts in Minerals: Detailed Overview
Some Keys to Dealing With Firing Cracks
Stoneware Casting Body Recipes
Substituting Cornwall Stone
Super-Refined Terra Sigillata
The Chemistry, Physics and Manufacturing of Glaze Frits
The Effect of Glaze Fit on Fired Ware Strength
The Four Levels on Which to View Ceramic Glazes
The Majolica Earthenware Process
The Physics of Clay Bodies
The Potter's Prayer
The Right Chemistry for a Cone 6 MgO Matte
The Trials of Being the Only Technical Person in the Club
The Whining Stops Here: A Realistic Look at Clay Bodies
Those Unlabelled Bags and Buckets
Tiles and Mosaics for Potters
Toxicity of Firebricks Used in Ovens
Trafficking in Glaze Recipes
Understanding Ceramic Materials
Understanding Ceramic Oxides
Understanding Glaze Slurry Properties
Understanding the Deflocculation Process in Slip Casting
Understanding the Terra Cotta Slip Casting Recipes In North America
Understanding Thermal Expansion in Ceramic Glazes
Unwanted Crystallization in a Cone 6 Glaze
Variegating Glazes
Volcanic Ash
What Determines a Glaze's Firing Temperature?
What is a Mole, Checking Out the Mole
What is the Glaze Dragon?
Where Do I Start?
Why Textbook Glazes Are So Difficult

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 traffic in glaze recipes has had a net negative effect on functional ceramics in education, hobby, and industry. Books and the internet are filled with recipes that are illogical and emphasize appearance at the expense of safety, practicality, or cost. 'Affairs' with these 'naked' (undocumented) recipes have left many numbed regarding their accountability and even ill equipped to recognize true quality. This trade in recipes fosters a culture that runs counter to the idea of 'understanding' and controlling our materials and recipes, it breeds ignorance of oxide and material sciences and the true nature of the ceramic process. It deludes many into an 'easy-fix' mentality that seeks 'foolproof' solutions that end up being blind allies that waste years and teach nothing. Implied 'ethics' suggest that the traffic in recipes be accompanied by documentation to prove givers conscientious and by critical analysis and testing on the part of recipients willing to 'understand' and adjust. Weak, leachable, difficult-to-clean, crazed, shivered, leaching glazes hurt the reputation of the pottery and ceramic industry. It is time that a 'want-to-know-why' mindset toward formulating and adjusting glazes on the oxide and material level is fostered in students. It is time that a stigma is attached to joining the 'illicit trade' in recipes and using trial-and-error bull-in-a-china-shop approaches to glaze formulation.

We recommend a 'base glaze with variations' starting model. As your understanding of a base glaze improves over a period of years you can develop the ability to identify its mechanism and learn to transplant them into different bases. In this way you can minimize the number of base recipes you use. In addition, as you improve each base (e.g. its application properties, fired harness, fit adjustability, etc) all the variations based on it will inherit the improvements.

In education and pottery circles the trade in recipes has encouraged a 'roulette wheel' approach to choosing glazes and in big industry there is a brain-drain toward suppliers and consultants while many manufacturers are becoming more and more helpless. At Digitalfire we personify these dangerous trends and attitudes as 'The Dragon'. The dragon wants you to believe that casual potters are exempt from technical concerns. He fosters blissful attitudes that keep us on an endless treadmill of glaze recipe experimentation and disappointment or on suppliers that lack a connection to unique circumstances and customer specific problems. The dragon wants us to think that glaze chemistry is too complicated and too much trouble.

The Formula Viewpoint, Key to Taking Control

Chemistry, that is, viewing your glazes as formulas of oxides rather than recipes of materials, is an invaluable tool to deal with things like hardness, strength, porosity, leaching, thermal shock resistance, chip resistance, glaze fit, color compatibility, of your functional ware. A typical formula contains eight or so oxides and it takes a lot less study to figure out what these contribute than it does to figure out what 100 different materials do. Glaze software, like Insight-live, provides the simplest way to work with glaze formulas.

Related Information


Articles G1214M Cone 5-7 20x5 Glossy Base Glaze
This is a base transparent glaze recipe developed for cone 6. It is known as the 20x5 or 20 by 5 recipe. It is a simple 5 material at 20% each mix and it makes a good home base from which to rationalize adjustments.
Articles G1214W Cone 6 Transparent Base Glaze
The process we used to improve the 20x5 base cone 6 glaze recipe
Articles G1214Z Cone 6 Matte Base Glaze
This glaze was developed using the 1214W glossy as a starting point. This article overviews the types of matte glazes and rationalizes the method used to make this one.
Articles What is the Glaze Dragon?
At Digitalfire we use a Dragon to personify the kinds of thinking that prevent potters, educators and technicians from understanding and therefore controlling their ceramic glazes.
Articles Ball Milling Glazes, Bodies, Engobes
Industries ball mill their glazes, engobes and even bodies as standard practice. Yet few potters even have a ball mill or know what one is.
Projects Recipes
Glossary Cone 6

By Tony Hansen

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