Simple Cone 6 Ceramic Glazes


Stoneware plate with Naragon White glaze over Blue Green glaze, fired to Cone 6 in oxidation. The crackle effect was an unexpected but pleasant surprise.

The cone 6 glaze recipes in this feature were contributed by Lou Roess and she fires them in oxidation. As with all ceramic glaze recipes, we recommend that you make small batches to test on your clay body and in your kiln. As we all know, results can vary dramatically because of several variables, including location (altitude and pressure), fuel-type and condition of the kiln, and differences in raw materials. Happy testing! —Jennifer Poellot Harnetty, editor.

Application Tips for Lou’s Cone 6 Glazes

by Lou Roess

Strontium Blue Bronze cone 6 glaze.

Strontium Blue Bronze cone 6 glaze.

Lou applies these glazes by either dipping or pouring. You can also brush or spray these glazes. Application thickness will affect color and surface quality. Pay attention to the thickness of your glaze (specific gravity) in the bucket. Try to keep the glaze consistent for each glazing session. Usually, most glazes should have the consistency of a medium to heavy cream. You can use a simple test of quickly dipping your hand into the stirred glaze. Examine the glaze coat as you withdraw your hand and try to maintain the same thickness each time you glaze.

Lou’s Cone 6 Glaze Recipes


This stoneware plate has the Naragon White glaze over Blue Green glaze, fired to Cone 6 in oxidation. The butterfly area was waxed before the Naragon White glaze was applied.

You also can use small, bisque test tiles dipped into the glaze. When the coating of glaze begins to dry, scratch the surface with the edge of your fingernail to check the thickness of the application.

Overlap glazes on a test tile with the combinations you like to use, fire and attach to the glaze bucket. This is a simple reminder of how to apply glazes to your pottery for the results desired.

Great Glazing Tip: Apply one, two and three layers of glaze to a test tile. Fire and attach the tile to the glaze bucket for a permanent record of application thickness.

**First published in 2012
  • I made this beautiful strontium blue bronze glaze and I really love it! That said, for me it turned out extremely cobalt blue without any trace of the lighter greenish nor the bronze coloring in that beautiful vase posted with this recipe. I’m a student at Academy of Art taking Ceramics 2 and trying to use this for my final project…. That said – I’m a total newbie at all this and have only been making glazes for 2 months, so forgive my ignorance! I realize that all kilns fire differently and there a million factors involved with the kiln environment for each firing – though I do not have a handle on how it all works just yet! I have run several test firings with this glaze, I also mixed a batch using more copper carbonate (which now gave me the recipe for a beautiful matte silver!) but I just can’t get it to come out light green like that! Do you have any suggestion as to what I could add to or remove from this recipe to bring more of that lighter blue green into the finished piece? Would adding Yellow Iron Oxide be ok with this recipe to lean it to a lighter green? I was wondering if you may tell me how I could approach this problem solving dillema! I am firing in a Skutt 609 small test kiln to Cone 6.

    • Your cobalt carb is where your blue comes from, the copper carb forms your greens. Strontium also produces blues, so try reducing the amount of cobalt carb in the formula and do a line blend test on your tiles. I would eliminate it completely at first to see what you get, adding small percentages before dipping subsequent tiles.

  • I would be careful of removing “water” from the glaze bucket as it contains dissolved chemicals that are part of your recipe but may not be visible.

  • Denise M.

    You should never expect glazes to come out exactly (or sometimes even remotely) like the photographs in books or on a website. It is important to understand that all kilns have their differing atmospheres, heat-up and cool-down rates etc etc. Tiny differences in application also have a big impact. The chemical composition of the raw ingredients also differs from source to source – sometimes quite dramatically. Use recipes as a starting point only, then learn a bit about glaze chemistry basics and adjust to suit your own kiln and methods. The great thing about this is everyone ends up with glazes uniquely their own. Keep up with those careful measurements – you are on the right track there 🙂

  • Michele S.

    This is amazing … thank you … I have taken classes on glazing on a hit or miss … when I can, and I find my glazes are still not coming out as they look on the photos in the books and from online sites … I am hoping this on will :o).

    I am very careful on my measurments [my husband laughs at my scientific aproach with such accuracy]. It is so much fun that even tho I have MANY missed … I am excited to keep trying … again … thank you.

  • Denise M.

    …oh, and I forgot to state it clearly, if the glaze is heavier than previously, obviously you add some water until the weight matches what it was before.

  • Denise M.

    for a more accurate method of keeping your glaze thickness consistent, you should weigh the glaze suspension;

    Put a dry and clean empty jug on your scales (I use digital) and set to 0. Carefully pour some well stirred glaze into the jug until you reach the 500 ml or 1000 ml mark (doesn’t matter which as long as you are consistent – oh and I’m in a metric country, you Americans may wish to use your units of choice…). Be careful not to splash any on the scales or sides of the jug. Be as accurate as possible. Note the weight (I’m working in grams) of your chosen volume of glaze.

    For future glazing sessions, I normally skim off the top layer of water from the settled, unstirred bucket. Then mix the glaze well and measure out the same volume as you did before with the same jug on the scales. In theory it should be a little heavier than before because you removed some water (making a denser suspension). Add back the water to the bucket a little at a time until it weighs the same as last time.

    Skimming off some water before stirring just gives you a bit of leeway – you can’t remove water if the glaze is too light if it has been stirred through.

    To be truthful, I really only bother with this when I’ve mixed up a new batch of glaze and want to match the consistency to the previous batch, or if a glaze has been sitting for an extended period of time.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Enter Your Log In Credentials
This setting should only be used on your home or work computer.

Larger version of the image
Send this to a friend