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Today, we live in an age of super abundance of ceramic raw materials. Innumerable clays and glaze materials offer us a bewildering array of choices. Far from understanding these materials as familiar rocks, feldspars, and clays, each with unique personalities of their own, we know them only as white, gray, or brown powders neatly packaged in uniform bags. Consequently we beg, borrow, and steal glaze and clay body recipes that “work.” Ceramic raw materials come to us from every corner of the earth in a purified and refined state. Fortunately, it is not necessary to have an intimate understanding of these hundreds of ceramic materials. Ancient potters created their masterpieces from three or four ceramic materials, and, if we similarly narrow our choices, we can also achieve extraordinary results. Ceramic Raw Materials: Understanding Ceramic Glaze Ingredients and Clay Making Ingredients offers access to that knowledge, including how to formulate a glaze using a glaze core, charts for clays and feldspars found in most clay and glaze recipes, a glossary of common ceramic raw materials, and the primary functions of those materials.

 Included in this free PDF:

Understanding Glazes Through Raw Materials: Using Glaze Cores

by Mimi Obstler

There are so many materials available to ceramic artists that it can be somewhat overwhelming to mix a glaze. But if you understand the concept and function behind glaze cores, the process becomes far more manageable. 

Clay Making

by Dave Finkelnburg

Mixing the right raw clay materials, in the right order, affects clay body performance more than you may think. Follow this expert advice to get it right!

Clay Body Plasticity

Find out what makes clay materials do what they do—like bend and stay, smoosh and stick.

Clay Materials We Use

Because clays and recipes can change over time, it is good to know specifically what your clay contains. If you need to substitute one material for another, you’ll want to get as close as possible, so you’re changing as little as you can.


by Dave Finkelnburg

This abundant ceramic raw material, once you understand it, can be the perfect natural frit for glazes, as well as a great flux for clay bodies.

Feldspars Used In Ceramic Glazes and Clay Making

These handy materials, used as the core of glazes as well as in most clay bodies, appear in lots of recipes. Some recipes may be so old that the feldspars are no longer available or their names have been changed. If this happens to you, this guide will help you identify the best possible substitute.

Feldspars We Use

Glossary of Common Ceramic Raw Materials

This quick reference to the most common North American raw materials will come in handy when formulating clay bodies as well as glazes.

Primary Functions of Common Ceramic Raw Materials

A companion to the glossary of common materials used in studio ceramics, this chart allows quick identification and understanding of the main uses of our materials.

Download the free guide right now, and become a better ceramic artist tomorrow. That’s our promise to you from Ceramic Arts Network!

Best regards,

Jennifer Poellot Harnetty
Editor, Ceramic Arts Daily