Clay & Glaze Types

Ceramics books use numerous approaches to categorizing glazes, from color (white, black, etc.) to predominant coloring oxide (iron, cobalt, etc.) to firing temperature.

One must be careful when categorizing recipes. If categories are too specific it becomes more difficult to search, while very broad categories become less meaningful.

Glazy categorizes clay bodies by type and then usage, for instance: Porcelain - Slipcasting

For glazes, Glazy adopts the format of John Britt's The Complete Guide to High-Fire Glazes, Glazing & Firing at Cone 10 The categories in this book are based on a combination of glaze color, coloring oxide, surface and firing type.

Top-level Types

Clay Body Types

Slips & Engobe Types

Glaze Sub-Types

Clearopen in new window

Transparent glaze, often used to highlight underlying clay or decoration.

Clear Glaze

Clear glazes are a type of "Base Glaze". They don't have any colorants or opacifiers. They are usually Glossy, but can also have a Satin finish.

Clear glazes are located in the middle "Bright" region of the Stull Chart. When too much Alumina or Silica is added to a Clear glaze, then it often changes to a Matte Glaze.

Clear Glazes plotted on the Stull Chart

In the Silica:Alumina Stull Chart above, you can see that most Clear glazes fall within the middle "Bright" region.

White, Off-Whiteopen in new window

Glazes with varying shades of white. Usually don't contain additives like colorants, but may include opacifiers like Tin & Zircopax.

White Glaze

Ironopen in new window

Glazes rich in iron oxide, producing colors ranging from blue, green, yellow, amber, brown, and black.

Iron: Celadonopen in new window

Pale, translucent green glaze, traditionally used in Chinese ceramics.

Wikipedia: Celadonopen in new window

Iron: Celadon: Blueopen in new window

Especially high-purity celadons with low titania and iron that have a blue tint.

Blue Celadon Glaze

Typical blue celadon glaze.

Ancient Ru-type Chinese celadon.

Ancient Ru-type Chinese celadon.

Iron: Celadon: Greenopen in new window

Green celadons typically include more iron oxide (about 1-2%) than blue celadons, and may contain color modifiers or impurities like titania.

Green Celadon Glaze

Typical green celadon in new window

Green Celadon Glaze

Ancient Chinese Yaozhou kiln celadon.

Iron: Celadon: Yellowopen in new window

Yellow-tinted celadons produced by particular glaze chemistries or firing in oxidation atmosphere.

Yellow Celadon Glaze

David Leach Yellow Celadonopen in new window

Yellow Celadon Glaze

Oxidation yellow celadonopen in new window

Iron: Celadon: Chun/Junopen in new window

A type of traditonal Chinese high-fire blue glaze, often with opalescent quality.

Jun/Chun Celadon Glaze

Wikipedia: Jun wareopen in new window

Jun/Chun Celadon Glaze

Nigel Wood Junopen in new window

Iron: Amberopen in new window

A warm, golden-brown glaze. Often has about 4% iron oxide.

Amber Glaze
Iron: Tenmokuopen in new window

Dark brown to black glaze, often with a glossy finish. Contains high iron amounts of around 8%.

Tenmoku Glaze

Jian tea bowl with "hare's fur" glaze, southern Song dynasty, 12th century, Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Wikipedia: Jian wareopen in new window

Wikipedia: Tenmokuopen in new window

Tenmoku Glaze

Song Dynasty Inspired Tianmu/Tenmoku Glazeopen in new window

Iron: Tenmoku: Tea Dustopen in new window

Traditional Chinese glaze with speckled crystals.

Tea Dust Glaze

Chinese Tea Dust glazed vase, via Sotheby's

Tea Dust Glaze

Various shades of teadust glazes on Chinese antiques.

Tea Dust Glaze

Coleman Tea Dust Blackopen in new window

Iron: Tenmoku: Hare's Furopen in new window

Traditional Chinese glaze with streaked effect, resembling a hare's fur.

Hares fur Glaze

View of the "hare's fur" glazing effect on a Jian bowl Wikipedia: Jian wareopen in new window

Iron: Tenmoku: Kaki, Tomato Redopen in new window

Iron-saturate glazes with large amounts of iron (often over 10%) that develop a red, crystalline surface. There's a long history of iron-saturate glazes running from Chinese Song Dynasty through modern Japanese pottery.

Iron Kaki Tomato Red Glaze

Persimmon-Glazed Bowl, Northern Song Dynastyopen in new window via Sotheby's.

Iron Kaki Tomato Red Glaze

Cylindrical stoneware vase by Hamada Shojiopen in new window via Sotheby's.

Iron Kaki Tomato Red Glaze

Kaki Biaxial D4open in new window

Iron: Tenmoku: Oil Spotopen in new window

Traditional Chinese iron glaze with dark background and lighter "spots" that resemble oil spots.

Jian ware Oil-spot Glaze

Wikipedia: Jian wareopen in new window

Oil-spot Glaze

John's Oil Spot #3open in new window, by John Britt

Iron: Slip-Basedopen in new window

Glazes formulated with high iron content clays like Albany, Alberta, and Redart.

Slip-based Iron Glaze

Andies Handful of Earthopen in new window, image by Hette Hillsdon.

Shinoopen in new window

Traditional Japanese high-feldspar/high-alkali, opaque, fatty glaze.

Shino Glaze

Shino ware tea bowl furisode, Azuchi-Momoyama to Edo period, 16th-17th century Wikipedia: Shino wareopen in new window

Shino: Traditionalopen in new window

Glazes formulated with historical or classic techniques and materials.

Shino: Carbon Trapopen in new window

A Shino that traps carbon during firing, creating various surface effects & colors.

High-alumina Shino Glaze

Gustin Shinoopen in new window via John Britt.

Shino: High-Aluminaopen in new window

High-alumina Shinos.

High-alumina Shino Glaze

Mino Shinoopen in new window via John Britt

Shino: Whiteopen in new window

White Shinos.

Redopen in new window

Red-colored glazes developed via a number of mechanisms.

Red: Copperopen in new window

Glazes that obtain their red color through the effect of copper.

Red: Copper: Oxbloodopen in new window

Sub-type of traditional Chinese copper-red glaze.

Oxblood Glaze

Wikipedia: Sang de boeuf glazeopen in new window

Oxblood Glaze

Pete's Redopen in new window via Sid Henderson

Red: Copper: Flambeopen in new window

Sub-type of traditional Chinese copper-red glaze.

Flambe Glaze

Flambe-glazed Three-handled Vase, Qianlongopen in new window via Christie's

Red: Copper: Peach Bloomopen in new window

Sub-type of traditional Chinese copper-red glaze.

Peachbloom Glaze

Qing Dynasty Water potopen in new window

Red: Pinkopen in new window

Pink glazes are often created using small amounts of Chrome or by using stains.

Pink Glaze

20ish x5 Pinkopen in new window via Andy Taylor.

Red: Stainopen in new window

Glazes using commercial ceramic stains for red color.

Red stain

Greenopen in new window

Green glazes developed via a number of mechanisms.

Green: Copperopen in new window

Green: Oribeopen in new window

Green is the typical colour of Oribe ware, along with white. The original Chinese green was a smooth, even colour like celadon. Oribe, however, tried to use different shades of more natural green, in order to reflect green mountains or riverside scenes. For the brilliant green color, wares are fired using oxidation at 1220 degrees Celsius.

Wikipedia: Oribe wareopen in new window

oribe glaze

An Oribe Bottleopen in new window via Christie's.

Green: Chromeopen in new window

Green glazes can be obtained with small amounts of chrome (1% or less).

Green chrome glaze

Rivulet Greenopen in new window via Matt Kelleher

Green: Titaniumopen in new window

Titania often acts as a color modifier, turning celadons with iron green, working with copper for beautiful greens, even turning cobalt a shade of green.

Green titanium glaze

Vert CoTiopen in new window via Jean-Pierre Prieto showing cobalt and titania producing green.

Green titanium glaze

Чунь №1open in new window via Alexandra Shcherbakova showing copper and titania greens.

Green: Nickelopen in new window

Green: Stainopen in new window

Turquoiseopen in new window

Blueopen in new window

Blue: Cobaltopen in new window

Cobalt can be added in small increments of 0.1% to 1% to obtain blue glazes.

Cobalt Line Blend

Line blend adding Cobalt Oxide

Blue: Rutileopen in new window

Either alone or in combination with cobalt, rutile can produce the "floating blue" effect.

Rutile blues

Bleu de rutileopen in new window via Jean-Pierre Prieto showing rutile producing a floating blue.

Rutile blues

Floating Blueopen in new window via Joe Thompson combining rutile with cobalt.

Blue: Bariumopen in new window

In combination with cobalt, barium can produce vivid, intense blues.

Barium Blue

Intense Blueopen in new window via erik ragni

Blue: Strontiumopen in new window

Stontium Blue

Strontium Blueopen in new window via chance taylor

Blue: Nickelopen in new window

Nickel Blue

Lively Lavenderopen in new window via Alexander Kuttel using nickel with cobalt

Nickel Blue

Nickel blue strontium matteopen in new window via Jeannine Vrins using only nickel

Blue: Stainopen in new window

Various blue stains can be added to a base glaze to produce blue.

Blue Stain

Purpleopen in new window

Purple: Magnesiumopen in new window

A range of colors from lavendar to purple can be produced when using cobalt in magnesium-fluxed glazes.

Magnesium Purple Glaze

No Zinc No Pinkopen in new window via david tsabar

Magnesium Purple Glaze

WPG19 Emily's Purpleopen in new window via whitecourt.potters

Purple: Nickelopen in new window

Nickel Purple Glaze

Nickel Purpleopen in new window via TSUMAGI NITTOOOH

Purple: Manganeseopen in new window

A range of colors from aubergine to purple can be obtained by using manganese, or manganese with cobalt.

Manganese Purple Glaze

Aubergineopen in new window via Mine Aytekin

Manganese Purple Glaze

Shadowopen in new window via Tamas Ferencz

Matteopen in new window

There are a few ways to get matte glazes, but one must be careful not to assume a glaze is truly matte just because of its surface. Underfired glazes can often appear matte, but they may have issues and be unsuitable for functional use.

Matte Glaze

Silky Matteopen in new window via Michael Newsome

Matte: Magnesium Matteopen in new window

Magnesium Matte Glaze

Coleman Magnesia Glaze for Porcelainopen in new window

Blackopen in new window

Black: Slip-Basedopen in new window

Black: Glossyopen in new window

Glossy Black Glaze

Coleman Jet Black Shiny with Metallic Spotsopen in new window

Black: Satinopen in new window

Yellowopen in new window

Yellow: Ironopen in new window

Iron in amounts of around 1-4% can result in some beautiful yellows.

Yellow Iron Glaze

OU Yellow Saltopen in new window via IU Southeast Ceramics, one of many variations of this recipe

Yellow Iron Glaze

Iron Yellowopen in new window via Benjamin Wren

Yellow: Bariumopen in new window

Yellow Barium Glaze

Yellaopen in new window via Alexander Kuttel

Yellow: Manganeseopen in new window

Yellow: Stainopen in new window

Yellow: Nickelopen in new window

Crystallineopen in new window

Glazes that develop visible crystals during cooling.

Crystalline: Microopen in new window

This category describes glazes that develop networks of small crystals.

Micro-Crystalline Glaze

Fabius Blueopen in new window via Clara Giorello

Crystalline: Aventurineopen in new window

Aventurine Crystalline Glaze

John's Goldstone Zincopen in new window via Clara Giorello

Crystalline: Manganeseopen in new window

Crystalline Manganese Glaze

Pinnell Manganese (EU)open in new window via Lauge Brimgiest

Crystalline: Macroopen in new window

Glazes that develop large, macro, crystals.

Macro-Crystalline Glaze

Norkin White (+Colbalt +Copper +Titanium)open in new window via Shannon Yeung

Single-Fireopen in new window

Glazes applied to greenware, formulated to be fired in a single step.

Woodopen in new window

Glazes specifically developed for wood firing, often displaying atmospheric surface effects.

Salt & Sodaopen in new window

Rakuopen in new window

Special glazes used in the low-temperature Raku firing process.

Raku Glaze

Raku Bopen in new window via Himmelsholm

Ashopen in new window

Glazes containing or imitating wood ash, often with earthy qualities, often traditional.

Wikipedia: Ash Glazeopen in new window

Ash Glaze

Frasca-Aerni Basic Ashopen in new window

Ash: Nukaopen in new window

Traditional Japanese rice-husk ash glaze.

This recipe is from a comment by John Baymore in Ceramic Arts Daily:

"Nuka" is the Japanese word for the husk (or hull) of the rice kernel. It is a by-product of the milling of white rice. The Japanese version is from a short grain rice.

Potter parlance (in Japanese) uses this term for glazes based upon rice HUSK ash (not rice straw ash....... different chemical composition). The agricultural waste is piled in the fields and is then burned. The piles smolder more than burn, and a good ash for glaze use is actually dark grey to black. You don't want it to burn cleanly. This color comes from carbon residue in the ash. SO the ash has a high L.O.I. The chemical composition of rice husk ash (after L.O.I.) is almost colloidally fine silica. (TJR I'd call it more of a semi-gloss.)

Nuka glazes are high calcium fluxed glazes (from the washed wood ash) what use the rice husk ash for a lot of the silica content, and bringing in the silica in a very fine particle size. They fire a bluish white and are slightly milky opaque where thicker due to the unmelted silica particles.

Nuka ash Glaze

Toms Nuka 3open in new window via Tom Demeranville

Ash: Synthetic/Fakeopen in new window

Glazes that use modern glaze materials to emulate the chemistry of ashes.

Fake ash Glaze

Fake Ash 1 ^6open in new window via Will Steinhoff

Ash: Slip-Basedopen in new window

Slip ash Glaze

Bruce's Yellow Ashopen in new window via John Britt

Majolicaopen in new window

Traditional opaque tin glaze, often used as a ground for overglaze decoration.

Wikipedia: Majolicaopen in new windowWikipedia: Maiolicaopen in new window

majolica dish

Polychrome majolica dish with paintings of a fish, flowers, and fruit. Lodi, Italy, 1751. Wikipedia: Maiolicaopen in new window

majolica dish

San Diego State U Majolica (modified)open in new window via David Sackett.

Bristolopen in new window

A glaze that relies on the fluxing action of Zinc Oxide for fully melting, even at lower temperatures without the need for boron.

Bristol Glaze

Bristol glaze baseopen in new window via Eric P.

Specialtyopen in new window

Specialty: Crackleopen in new window

Crackle Glaze

Snowflake Crackle #8open in new window via Clara Giorello

Specialty: Crawlingopen in new window

Glazes that pull away from the clay body during firing, creating a crawling effect.

Crawling Glaze

Brain Coral Crawl / Lichen Crawlopen in new window via Jake Glaze

Specialty: Gloopopen in new window

A glaze that sits between glaze and clay, with drips.

Gloop Glaze

Gloop Biaxial with B2O3 0.3open in new window

Specialty: Crateropen in new window

Glazes that form craters or pits on the surface.

Crater Glaze

Akiko's crater glazeopen in new window via kenneth ibbett

Specialty: Metallicopen in new window

Glazes with metallic sheen, often through the use of high amounts of colorants/additives like manganese.

Metallic Glaze

Goldopen in new window via Kim Ulrick

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