Best Glazes


a picture of containers of pottery glazes

The fun thing about shopping for pottery glazes is there are so many great colors to choose from. The bad part is there are so many glazes to choose from! The good news is, I’m here to help you sort it out and give you my recommendations on the glazes that work best for me.

On this page, I will be sharing top picks based on the glazes I have used. Keep in mind I won’t be going through in detail about glazes. These are just recommendations for glazes you may want to try.

What To Look For When Buying Glazes

Because all glazes are not the same, it’s good to know what to look for in your glazes. These are a few things to be aware of when shopping for them.

  • Is it easy to apply
  • What cone size does it fire to
  • Are you looking for a shiny, flat, or mat finish
  • Is the glaze going to stay put, or does it like to run
  • Can you mix the glaze colors
  • Are the glazes food-safe or non-toxic
  • Are the glazes suitable for layering
  • Do you want to dip, brush, pour, sponge or spray them on?

I made a list of Popular Glazes that I use All the Time. The Glazes listed are not only my favorites, but you will see them being used by famous and not so famous potters on websites, such as Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube to name a few.
If you want to see some of the cool glaze combinations I’ve created, head on over to my YouTube Channel, where you will see me applying some of the Glazes that I am about to review for you.

A Few Popular Glazes

Here is a list of a few popular glazes that I put together for you to help create beautiful pottery on your amazing glazing journey. These glazes are great to use alone or in combinations.

1) Amaco Blue Rutile

The Amaco Blue Rutile is a great glaze on its own or as a base glaze and topped or layered with glazes like Amaco Seaweed and Oatmeal.

Coverage:

I found with this glaze the coverage has to be thick to achieve a blue color. At least three thick coats or the Blue Rutile will come out of the Kiln looking more Brown then Blue. With textured work, the Blue Rutile is blue where it’s thick and brown where it breaks and is thinner.

Ease Of Use:

This glaze brushes on smooth and easy. Blue Rutile in bottle form has a brushing medium that keeps the glaze stay more stable so you don’t have to mix it as often. After mixing it well once and putting the glaze through a strainer to catch any clumps or debris you can easily float a coat of glaze on with your brush without having to remix.

Other Product Features:

The Blue Rutile is best when applied to Cone 04 bisque pottery and fired to Cone 5-6. It is safe to spray on your pottery and is Dinnerware safe. Click Here to purchase a bottle.

2) Amaco Seaweed

Amaco Seaweed is a wonderful glaze to have in your collection. I find myself using it much more then I thought I would because it goes so well with other glazes.

Coverage:

Seaweed is a runny glaze. If you love to layer your glazes, this glaze is a must in your growing collection. It’s a beautiful glaze on its own but because it loves to float down it’s wonderful for a topper too. I had found if you dip this glaze on the rim or a 1/4 inch down and then dip another glaze on top, the seaweed will actually help the other glaze float down with it.

Ease Of Use:

This glaze mixes fast and easy. Because it has a brushing medium it will keep a nice consistency and brush on nice and smooth as long as you keep the cover and rim clean and seal tightly.

Other Product Features:

This lead-free glaze is made to be applied to Cone 04 bisque pottery and fired to Cone 5-6. It is NOT safe to spray on your pottery. It is dinnerware safe and contains no raw cadmium bearing ingredients. Try it out for yourself and Click HERE to purchase.

Spectrum Pearl White

If you like your glaze to mingle with other glazes you will love Pearl White Glaze by Spectrum is a floating glaze that produces a beautiful cascading effect.

Coverage:

I mainly use this glaze as a topper on your base coats because of it’s wonderful floating quality. Since white can go with any color this Pearl white is great to use if you want to brighten up any darker color or show a dramatic contrast like icing melted over a hot brownie. You can dip just the rim or go halfway down depending on the effect you want to achieve. You can dip twice but be careful because this glaze loves to run. That’s why test tiles are the way to go.

Ease Of Use:

When mixed well you will find this glaze has a good smooth consistency when dipping the rim, pouring, or brushing.

Other Product Features:

This glaze is non-toxic, lead-free, and dinnerware safe.  It is a good mid-range fire glaze. I apply to cone 04 bisque and fire to cone 5 with wonderful results. The Pearl White marries well with all of the Amaco Glazes I have used so far.

Popular Glaze Sets

a picture of containers of amaco pottery glazes

Finding the right glaze combinations and colors can be Fun and sometimes frustrating. These Amaco glaze sets are a great value plus add great glazing creativity to your pottery by mixing and laying the colors together.

1. Amaco Potters Choice Glaze Set

This  Set of Six Potters Choice Glazes gives you Iron Lustre, Umber Float, Indigo Float, Toasted Sage, Frosted Turquoise, and Deep Firebrick to create different effects because of the ability to mix, match, and layer these glazes. The great value makes it so worth bundling these glazes.

Coverage:

Having a set of six different colors to mix or on its own is a big plus.  I have found the colors can be mixed together to make your own custom colors with no changes in performance or application of the glazes. It’s interesting to see what kind of color combinations you can come up with. The look and feel of the finished pieces are very nice.  These glazes are not known to run unless you apply too much.

Ease Of Use:

I found all of these glazes brushed on and covered nicely with at least three coats. These glazes are not known to run unless you apply too much.

Other Product Features:

All Amaco glazes are certified non-toxic and dinnerware safe. The range of colors can go from translucent to opaque by the amount of glaze you apply: one coat (translucent), three layers or more (opaque). The glazes also turn out best when applied to cone 04 bisque and fired at cone 5-6

2. Amaco Potters Choice Glaze Set – B

This Potters Choice glaze set is a great way to decorate your pottery with 6 different colors to from. Seaweed, Textured Turquoise, Saturation gold, Chun Plum, Ironstone, and Lustrous jade.

Coverage:

The consistency of the Amaco Potters Choice Glazes is nice. You can feel the glaze brush smoothy on your pottery. That’s what makes applying these glazes easier than others I have used. Potters Choice has a beautiful glossy finish.

Ease Of Use:

The colors turn out vibrant and are also great on there own or layered. I have also noticed a good consistency on different textured surfaces and easy to mix.

Other Product Features:

Amaco glazes are certified non-toxic and dinnerware safe. The glazes turn out best when applied to cone 04 bisque and fired at cone 5-6.
This set of 6 is a great value.

3. Amaco Celedon Glaze Set

It’s always nice to have a bigger selection, and with this Pack of 12 Celadon Glazes, I knew I couldn’t go wrong. You’ll love the different colors you get from this Set Of  12 Celadon Glazes.

Coverage:

You will find that Celadon Glazes are on the transparent side. Some Celadons will be more transparent than others, while the Snow and Obsidian glazes are more on the opaque side. If you apply three good coats, these glazes make vivid accents with beautiful results. If you Brush on too thin you will end up with streaks on your pottery.

Ease Of Use:

These Celadon Glazes brush on nicely. There are also times you may like to dip the insides of your mugs with a Celadon color, then decorate the outside with different colors and designs. These Glazes are glossy and totally mixable. You can also use the Potters Choice glazes with Celadon Glazes. 

Other Product Features:

It’s a good idea to include a few test tiles with your final fire. I fire mine to cone 5 with great results.

A Popular Underglaze Set Is Speedball

When it comes to having a choice of colors, this Speedball Underglaze Sample Pack has a beautiful array of twelve colors. They are great for Mishima, decorative painting, paint on sayings or names, and Sgraffito. You can also sponge it on, flick it on, or anything else your imagination can come up with. I think Speedball is an all-around good liquid underglaze. The results are great with a more solid color when you apply two to three coats. I like mixing the white underglaze when a want pastel colors. I also mix slip with the underglaze to create yet another effect.

a picture of containers of speedball pottery underglazes

Because the Speedball underglazes have a matte finish to them, I would recommend glazing over your underglaze with a clear glaze. Applying a clear glaze would ensure a good food-safe seal.
The nice part of underglazing is being able to apply it on greenware or bisque ware. I like to underglaze on greenware then I put a coat of Speedball Clear Glaze on it after the bisque. I also underglaze bisque ware, let it dry and applied a clear coat. Doing it this way is also fine; you just have to be careful not to smug the underglaze when applying the clear glaze.

These underglazes mix well and don’t run because they have a higher amount of clay in them so they can mold right in with your clay body. This is a nice plus when decorating. Just shake, and you are ready to apply. If it gets too thick, you can add a touch of water but be careful, only a little at a time. If you add too much water the underglaze will be runny and not go on properly.
I enjoy underglazing because you can get more creative with all the techniques, which makes it fun to experiment with and great to create.

You can also try this Xiem Applicator Set. It comes with a 3-ounce bulb, a nickel-plated connector, and 4 tips. I like the variety of the 4 different sized tip applicators. I found the bulb to be easy to use and clean. You will find this applicator is good with slip trailing, writing, painting, and other decorating.

To keep the tips from clogging up, it’s smart to put a needle in the tips when not using or clean after every use and it also comes with 2 needles.

Great Glaze Writer Is the Mayco Designer Liner 

The patterns that you can draw from this Glaze Writing Kit are endless.  This writing kit consists mainly of clay and a heavy colorant, which makes them great for writing.

You can draw on greenware or after your pottery is bisque. You can also cover with a coat of Clear Glaze. I recommend putting your glaze on after it is bisque.  You can use these glazes alone or with other glazes to make beautiful designs. It’s fun to create a work of art from a piece of clay.

These glazes fire successfully all the way to cone 6 and have an excellent choice of colors that create beautiful designs, which makes this set of ten perfect for mixing and matching. They are also certified AP Non-toxic and food safe.

My Top Dry Glaze Mix Pick Is Coyote

When it comes to dipping the Dry Coyote Glazes are my favorite powder glazes, but what I love most is the beautiful color selections. Coyote dry glazes have the same ingredients as their wet glazes, except of course the water. They are awesome for dipping, pouring, spraying, or even brushing.

These dry glazes may take a little longer to dry than you are used to with dipping glazes because they contain CMC and bentonite, but they dip very well, and the glaze particles stay suspended in the bucket. Therefore, you don’t have to mix it as often while glazing. Coyote Glazes were designed for mixing and layering. You can come up with some beautiful colors and patterns by overlapping the colors.

They have an excellent selection of finishes to choose from also — matt, glossy, shino, celadon, and stain. My favorite is glossy.
All these Coyote dry glazes are food ware safe and certified non-toxic after adding water.

Mixing and Storing Dry Glazes

Dry Glazes are not only cost-effective but easy to store. When using dry glazes there are a few things you should know.

When mixing dry glazes, it’s essential to wear a good dust mask and mix in a well-ventilated area. I found his Dust Mask with Replaceable Filters good for mixing both dry glaze and dry clay.
Mixing your glaze well is very important for your pottery to turn out as lovely as you imaged it in your head. I highly recommend using a drill with a mixing attachment. I found this Cordless Drill along with this Mixing Attachment to work pretty well. It’s nice not to have to plug it in, so you can take your glaze bucket outside and mix without fiddling with a cord.

Using clean buckets that seal well is an essential part of proper glazing. I use these Buckets with Gamma seal lids. The twist seal covers help keep the glazes from drying out and getting contaminated. Labeling your buckets helps to save time and takes the guessing game out of the equation.

To get rid of your unwanted glazes, you can check out this article Properly Disposing Of And Recycling Glazes there are some useful tips on the safe and correct procedures.

Don’t Forget Your Wax Resist

Keeping the bottom of your pottery clean of any glaze is one of the most vital parts of glazing. Wax resist keeps the glaze off any area you apply it. Wax resist works exceptionally well when dipping. It takes much longer to wipe the glaze off the pottery than it does to apply wax resist.

I like Wax On Resist because of the purple color. The other wax resists I use are white and dry clear, and I have a hard time seeing where the wax was brushed on. There is no guessing With Wax On Resist. You can see exactly where you apply it.
Wax resist is excellent for creating designs.
This wax resist is easy to control on the brush, and once it goes in the kiln, it burns right off. Since I hate to waste, once I finish using the white Wax Resist I will always use Wax On Resist.

Brushes

Make sure you keep your wax resist brush separate from your glaze brushes. It’s a good idea to label your wax resist brushes.

A good glazing brush is essential when applying your glaze. Check out my top picks on the Glazing Brushes I use. All of these glazes have Brushed on nicely for me, but only when I had applied them correctly.

I also have other pages like this one recommending my favorite Wheels, Clays, Other Pottery Tools and Accessories on our Recommended Tools Page of this site.  These are all the pottery-tested tools and supplies that I love to use.

Final Thoughts

We all have favorite colors and designs we love to incorporate into our pottery. With so many colors to choose from nowadays, it’s more fun than ever to craft your own unique piece of pottery. It’s best to record your successes and mistakes, so you learn from them and know which recipes work and don’t work for you.
The main problem for me was not applying enough glaze. Once I applied the glazes thicker, the results were beautiful with brilliant colors. I hope this helps you to choose the right glazes. Happy glazing