Color Trends 2012: Glaze Recipes and Suggestions for Bringing the Hot Colors of 2012 Into Your Work

Handbuilt porcelain bud vases by Jessica Knapp. Clockwise from the top: Orchard Purple, Base Glaze (no colorants), Tangerine Orange, French Chartreuse, Violet, Aegean Blue, Dark Red, Praseodymium Yellow.

Handbuilt porcelain bud vases by Jessica Knapp. Clockwise from the top: Orchard Purple, Base Glaze (no colorants), Tangerine Orange, French Chartreuse, Violet, Aegean Blue, Dark Red, Praseodymium Yellow.

If you like to pay attention to trends in color for wholesale orders or just to keep up on what buyers are looking at, today’s post is for you. 

In today’s post, we  share some color trends and give some suggestions for developing these colors in glazes. This can also serve as a guide to which prepared ceramic glazes may be the right choice for you to jazz up your work. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

Earlier this year, Pantone (known worldwide as the standard language for accurate color communication between designers, manufacturers, retailers, and customers, across a variety of industries) announced their biannual Home + Interior color forecast, which consists of nine color palettes and runs the gamut from muted tones to bright fluorescents — a broad enough range for everyone to find something to like. These palettes are a go-to tool for many artists and designers who pay attention to industry trends.

For a complete guide to developing color in ceramic glazes, turn to The Ceramic Spectrum by Robin Hopper, which is available int the Ceramic Arts Daily Bookstore.


Accompanying the Pantone palettes, we have pinpointed mineral choices for developing various colors in the glaze lab. Colors are listed with the various minerals needed to obtain them, approximate temperatures, atmospheres, saturation percentages needed, and comments on enhancing/inhibiting factors. A complete palette range can be found in Robin Hopper’s The Ceramic Spectrum.

  • A soak just means you are holding the kiln at the same temperature for a set period of time.

  • I am a newbie so I have lots to learn, I fire to cone 6 and I am not sure what you mean when you soak for 30 minutes. Could someone explain this?

  • Jessica K.

    As the glaze contains barium, I use this glaze only on the exterior surface of cups and bowls. I do not use it on surfaces that touch food. If you want to use this glaze on surfaces that contact food, you will need to have the glazed ware tested at a lab for leaching. For some colors, you can substitute strontium carbonate for all of the barium carbonate. But as a general rule of thumb, if you are making functional work that you are planning to sell, it is a good idea to have your glazed pieces tested at a professional lab to be sure they are food safe.

  • Neelam A.

    I opened the recipe page in a separate window, then I was able to copy paste it in word

  • Jessica K.

    Hi Rosemary,

    The violet, tangerine, dark red and praseodymium yellow colors are made using Mason stains.

    The violet is MS 6304 and is listed as a chrome tin colorant. I use between 6 and 10 percent. If you have used this particular stain and it is not working in your glaze base, perhaps the chrome is reacting negatively with another material in the glaze?

    The Tangerine stain is MS 6027, an encapsulated stain, used at 6 to 10 percent.

    The Dark Red stain is MS 2083, another encapsulated stain, and I use between 5 and 10 percent.

    The Praseodymium yellow is MS 6450, and have used it at 1 to 3 percent. Higher percentages give a much more vibrant yellow.

    I fired these bud vases to cone 6 with the 30 minute soak. I have noticed that the Dark Red Mason stain is more refractory than the other colorants. The finished, fired surface of the glaze is not as glossy as the others when using this colorant.

  • Rosemary H.

    Thank you for the post!

    Since they’re not listed in the recipe, I’m guessing the Tangerine, Violet, Dark Red, and Pras Yellow are stains? What temperature were the test tiles fired to, the original ^10 or the ^6 with the soak? Which Violet stain did you use? I’ve had success with Dark Red and Pras Yellow – but the couple of purples I’ve tried have come out either grey or blue…

  • Dito that about Gerstley Borate down in NZ. The substitute supplied here is called Gillespe Borate but not an exact match when put through glaze programme. Will have to just try a test I guess.!

  • Christine: You can do a print screen with the enlarged recipe window open and enlarge it enough in Photoshop or other graphic app-at least it’s readable.

    On a question for many recipes posted here and elswhere always refer to Gerstley Borate as a glaze constituent, yet it is very difficult to find and expensive to ship from long distances. Any thoughts?

  • Christine D.

    Interesting. But I am mostly interested in the glaze receipe by Robin Hammer and tried to print out the enlarged copy and failed. Very frustrating!

  • Maurine H.

    Wow what a huge endeavor to match those colors. I’m a graphic artist (my day job) Making Pantone specs hauntingly relevant to my passion; mud. It adds to organic choices in color, broadening repertoire.

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