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Published Jan 6, 2021

purple glazed test potsPurple is one of my favorite colors. From pale lavender to deep eggplant there are so many gorgeous purple hues. Yet, browsing through the Ceramic Arts Network archives, I noticed that we don't have a whole lot of purple glaze recipes posted. Well, today I am going to remedy that situation.

In this post, an excerpt from Linda Bloomfield's Colour in Glazes, I am presenting a plethora of purple glazes–from low fire earthenware recipes to mid-range and high fire stoneware and porcelain, there should be something for everyone interested in making some purple pottery! - Jennifer Poellot Harnetty, editor.


Purple can be made by adding a small amount of cobalt to a chrome-pink tin glaze, or by adding manganese and cobalt to an alkaline glaze. Cobalt turns lavender-blue in magnesium glazes (containing talc or dolomite), and an intense purple-blue can be obtained in high-cobalt barium matte glazes. Purple can also be obtained from copper oxide in barium matte earthenware glazes. Manganese dioxide will produce plum purples, particularly with cobalt in high-alkaline, low-alumina glazes. Neodymium oxide produces a pale violet in alkaline glazes, particularly those containing barium or lithium, which increase the solubility of the neodymium. Nickel gives dark aubergine purple in barium glazes. If cobalt or rutile is added to a copper red glaze, purple can be obtained in reduction.

Purple Glaze Recipes - Cone 04 Earthenware (above)

Purple Glaze Recipes - Cone 8 - 9 Stoneware (above)

Purple Glaze Recipes - Cone 6 - 8 Porcelain, Oxidation (below)

Linda Bloomfield studied engineering at Warwick University, with a year at MIT during her PhD studies. She spent a year in Tsukuba, Japan, working for NEC (Nippon Electric Company) and returned to London to work as a researcher at Imperial College. She started her pottery career while living in California, and became familiar with US potters’ materials. She now lives in London, where she makes porcelain tableware and writes pottery books. Want more glazing resources? Click here!

**First published in 2015.