How to Glaze Pottery Like a Professional

Pottery glazing is an art form that adds the finishing touch to your ceramic creations, turning them into beautiful and functional pieces of art. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced potter, mastering the art of glazing is essential to create stunning pottery. In this comprehensive guide, we'll take you through the steps of glazing pottery like a pro, from selecting the right glaze to achieving the perfect finish.

Pottery glazing is the final step in the pottery-making process, and it plays a crucial role in determining the appearance and functionality of your pottery. Whether you're creating functional kitchenware or decorative art pieces, the right glaze can enhance your pottery's beauty and durability.

Understanding Pottery Glaze

The Importance of Glazing

Glazing serves several essential purposes in pottery:

Sealing: Glaze creates a watertight barrier on the surface, making pottery functional for holding liquids.

Enhancing Appearance: Glazes add color, texture, and shine to pottery, making it visually appealing.

Protecting: Glaze protects the underlying clay from stains, scratches, and wear.

Types of Glazes

There are various types of glazes, including:

Transparent Glazes: These glazes allow the clay's natural color to show through while adding a glossy finish.

For example: MS - 29 Clear Bright

Opaque Glazes: Opaque glazes cover the clay's color entirely, creating a solid, often vibrant, surface.

Textured Glazes: These glazes add depth and dimension to your pottery, creating unique tactile experiences.

Preparing Your Pottery

Before you start glazing, your pottery needs proper preparation.

Bisque Firing

Bisque firing is the initial firing of your pottery before glazing. It removes moisture and makes the clay more porous, allowing it to absorb glaze effectively.

Cleaning and Sanding

Ensure your pottery is clean and free of dust or debris. Sanding the surface lightly will create a smoother glaze application.

You can use our sponges and polishing pads for cleaning and sanding.

Choosing the Right Glaze

Consider the firing temperature and type of clay you're using when selecting a glaze. Some glazes are specifically formulated for high-temperature firing, while others are suitable for lower temperatures.

High Temperature Glazes (Cone 10)

Mid - High Temperature Glazes (Cone:5/6)

Low Temperature Glazes (Cone:06)

Color and Texture

Think about the aesthetic you want to achieve. Glazes come in a wide range of colors and textures, allowing for endless creative possibilities.

Applying Glaze

Glazing Tools & Brushes

Brushing glaze is a common method, especially for intricate designs. Use soft brushes to apply glaze evenly.


Dipping involves immersing your pottery into a container of glaze. It's an efficient way to achieve consistent coverage.


Spraying glaze creates a fine mist, resulting in a smooth and even finish.

Glazing Techniques

Layering Glazes

Experiment with layering different glazes to create unique and complex color combinations.

Using Wax Resist

Applying wax to specific areas before glazing can create interesting patterns by preventing the glaze from adhering to those spots.

Firing Your Pottery

Kiln Settings

Follow the recommended firing schedule for your chosen glaze. Pay attention to temperature and firing duration.

You can also read our kiln schedule blog post.

Cooling Process

After firing, allow your pottery to cool slowly in the kiln to prevent thermal shock.

Troubleshooting Glazing Issues


Small holes in the glaze surface can be caused by trapped air or impurities. Properly preparing your pottery can help prevent pinholing.

You may want to take a look at our blog post What is Pinhole?


Crawling is when the glaze pulls away from the clay, leaving exposed areas. Ensure your pottery is clean and free of contaminants before glazing.

Uneven Coverage

Inconsistent glaze coverage may result from uneven application. Take your time to apply glaze evenly and avoid overloading.

Glazing Safety Tips


Always work in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling glaze fumes.

Protective Gear

Wear appropriate safety gear, including gloves and a mask, when handling glaze materials. Also you can wear a Pottery Apron.

Caring for Glazed Pottery

Properly cared for glazed pottery can last a lifetime. Wash it gently by hand or in the dishwasher if it's food-safe, and avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures.


Mastering the art of glazing pottery takes practice and experimentation. By understanding the different types of glazes, applying them effectively, and troubleshooting common issues, you can create pottery that's both beautiful and functional.


How do I choose the right glaze for my pottery?

Consider the firing temperature, type of clay, and the desired color and texture.

What is the purpose of bisque firing?

Bisque firing prepares the pottery for glazing by removing moisture and making it porous.

Can I mix different glazes to create custom colors?

Yes, layering different glazes can result in unique color combinations.

How can I prevent pinholing in my glaze?

Properly prepare your pottery and ensure it's clean and free of impurities before glazing.

What should I do if my glaze application is uneven?

Take your time and apply glaze evenly to avoid inconsistencies.

Now that you've learned the art of glazing pottery like a pro, it's time to get creative and start crafting your own beautiful glazed pieces. Happy potting!

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