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Published Sep 5, 2017


We’ve featured a lot of great clay sculpture techniques here on Ceramic Arts Daily over the years, but one area we may have neglected a little is glazing ceramic sculpture. Glazing is one area in which ceramic sculpture artists can really add depth. Applying a combination of glossy, matte, and textural glazes can help create a more three-dimensional surface on clay sculpture. And the great part is, since people generally don’t eat off of clay sculpture, you don’t have to worry about food safety!

In today’s post, our own Holly Goring, editor of Pottery Making Illustrated, shares three low fire glaze recipes that are perfect for sculpture. Mix and match them and combine them with other low fire glazes in your glaze arsenal and you might discover some even better surfaces! - Jennifer Poellot Harnetty, editor.

Lana Wilson's Purple Aqua, Graphite Metallic, and 3rd Degree Burn Glazes

When working with large sculptural pieces, applying a combination of glossy, matte, and texture glazes can create a more three-dimensional surface. Here are a few texture glazes to get you started. Remember, materials, kilns, and clay bodies will vary from place to place, the following recipes are meant to be tested, experimented with, and adjusted as desired. These glazes are not food safe.

From simple three-ingredient glazes to craggily lava and lichen glazes, the low-fire range of ceramics can produce incredible results. Our Ceramic Arts Handbook Low Fire Glazes and Special Projects is a great resource for those who already work at low-fire or those who are looking to branch out and explore this lower temperature range. The recipes and projects in this book will help you make your low-fire work the best it can be!

Lana Wilson’s Purple Aqua (1)

Lana Wilson's Purple Aqua low fire glaze is a versatile sculpture glaze because when sprayed thick, it results in purple, and if applied thinly, it turns aqua. For more intense aqua, use smaller amounts of copper carbonate when mixing this low fire glaze


Graphite Metallic (2)

This low fire sculpture glaze has a smooth metallic sheen, similar to pencil lead, but be warned, it will crawl when applied very thick.

3rd Degree Burn (3)

This is the perfect low fire glaze if you're looking for a gnarly, bubbly sculpture glaze. But be careful, this sculpture glaze can crawl or run depending on the type or amount of colorant used. Always test, test, test!