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 use them for dipping, brushing, pouring, sponging or spraying
My Top Glaze Pick Is Amaco Potters Choice
The consistency of the Amaco Potters Choice Glazes is nice. You can feel the glaze brushing smoothy on your pottery. That’s what makes applying these glazes easier than others I have used. Potters Choice has a beautiful glossy finish. The colors turn out vibrant and are great to layer and mix. I have also noticed a good consistency on multiple surfaces.
Having the set of six different colors to mix and match 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. I also have this Set of Six Potters Choice Glazes. The effects I get with mixing and matching is so worth bundling these glazes. I personally love them and think you will too.
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 (opaque).
These glazes are not known to run unless you apply too much. The number one concern when you glaze is keeping the glaze from running on to the kiln shelf.
Glaze melting on the kiln shelf will definitely happen to every potter, so you should check out this article How to Protect Your Kiln Shelf From Melting Glaze, it has some useful tips for helping you avoid the dreaded glaze fusing to the shelf or a piece of your pottery.
Great Celedon’s From Amaco
I love the different colors you get from the Set Of 12 Celadon Glazes. It’s great to be able to mix and match. Celadon Glazes are transparent and make vivid accents with beautiful results. It’s always nice to have a bigger selection, and with this Pack of 12 Celadon Glazes, I knew I couldn’t go wrong. There are 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.
My Favorite Underglaze 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.
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 few drops at a time. If you add too much water, it will 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.
Safe Dry Mixing and Storage
When mixing your dry glazes, 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.
If you are looking for a way 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 procedure.
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 brush on. Wax resist works exceptionally well when dipping. It takes much longer to wipe the glaze off the pottery than it does to just brush on the wax resist.
My Favorite Wax Resist is AMACO Wax Resist
I like AMACO Wax Resist because of the green tint it has. The other wax resists I’ve used were clear, and I had a hard time seeing where the wax was painted on. There is no guessing With AMACO wax resist. You can see exactly where you apply it.
Wax resist is excellent for preventing slips, glazes, or engobes (A clay slip coating applied to clay) From attaching to the clay. It’s also great for creating designs.
This wax resist is easy to control on the brush, and once it goes in the kiln, it burns right off.
Note: Make sure you keep your wax resist brush separate from your glaze brushes. It’s a good idea to label your wax resist brushes.
I found out the hard way that a good glazing brush is essential when applying the glaze. Check out my top picks on the Glazing Brushes I use.
These are my top recommendations. All of these glazes have turned out nice for me, but only when I had applied them correctly. I kept the mistakes, so I learn from them. The main problem was not applying enough glaze. Once I applied my glazes thicker, the results were beautiful with brilliant colors. I hope this helps you to choose the right glazes. Happy glazing
If you’re looking for good quality pottery tools, I have other pages like this one recommending my favorite wheels, clays, and other pottery tools and accessories on our Recommended Tools Page of this site. It’s all the pottery-tested tools and supplies that I love to use.