From picking the right clay to sealing off the surface with a glaze, pottery is an expansive process that requires practice and precision. If you are just starting out, you need the right pottery glaze that is easy to use and gives impeccable results when fired in a kiln. However, not every pottery glaze is forgiving or easy to apply for beginners. So, what are the best options available for beginner pottery artists? Here is a complete list of beginner-friendly pottery glazes you can experiment with when starting out!
Things To Consider When Selecting A Beginner-Friendly Pottery Glaze
When looking for the right pottery glaze for your pottery-making escapades, make sure you consider these factors:
1. Firing Temperature:
Pick a glaze with firing temperature or cone that you find easy to work with. Most beginner artists find it easy to work with glazes that are formulated to be fired at low-fire temperatures. A great choice can be glazes that fire between Cone 06 and 04. However, the final choice boils down to individual needs.
2. Glaze Type:
Before selecting your go-to glaze, make sure you familiarize yourself with glaze variants such as glossy, transparent, matte, opaque, and textured.
3. Consider Safety:
A key detail you need to keep in mind is the need for safety. A beginner-friendly glaze should always be food-safe and non-toxic, especially if you plan on using it for dinnerware or functional pottery.
Best Beginner-Friendly Pottery Glazes
1. Mayco Element Glazes:
The Mayco Element Glaze is a beginner-friendly option that comprises opaque and semi-opaque glazes that impart high-quality color bursts upon firing. Available in a range of colors that are inspired by elements like earth/fire/wind/air, these glaze crystals are very easy on your brush when it comes to application. This feature makes it perfect for beginner pottery artists. It can be applied in multiple layers that spread out evenly throughout the pottery surface, giving your artwork an unusual and authentic appearance. Moreover, the Mayco Element Glaze is non-toxic in nature and can be fired from Cone 05 to 06. While it can be fired at higher temperatures, the colors might not be as vibrant.
2. Sax Gloss Glaze True Flow:
If you are looking for a high-quality transparent glaze that helps your designs and underglaze pop, the Sax Gloss Glaze is a great choice for beginners that impart vibrant and bright colors. Its natural-clear tone comes from the lead-free formulation that conforms to the safety standards listed under ASTM D-4236. The Sax Gloss Glaze is created to help inspire beginners with its easy-flow formulation that spreads out evenly and doesn’t clump in one place. Additionally, you can add a choice of your colorant to the glaze. Make sure you fire the glaze at the right cone temperature, or it might create a haze instead of being transparent. An ideal firing temperature is from cone 06-05.
3. Speedball Stoneware Glaze:
For pottery artists that are looking for a high-quality yet beginner-friendly glaze for their artwork, the Speedball Stoneware Glaze is an ideal choice. The formulation is concocted to perform exceptionally at a mid-range temperature of Cone 5 and 6. However, it can also be fired at Cone 10 to get some unique and exceptional results. This stoneware glaze is formulated for easy firing and application that produce striking and consistent results after firing. To get the best results out of the Speedball Stoneware Glaze, make sure you apply 2 to 3 coats of this glaze liberally. This dinnerware-safe formula doesn’t contain lead and turns clear after kiln firing.
4. Amaco Potters Choice 39182X Glaze:
The Amaco Potters Choice Glaze gives beginner artists a choice for limitless layering in different combinations. This glaze set provides pottery artists access to authentic and rich hues that make up for a colorful collection for all your projects. Moreover, the formulation doesn’t contain any lead and is the perfect high-fire glaze. If you love to work with porcelain or stoneware clay, this glaze works wonders and can easily achieve a reduction effect that is synonymous with Cone 10 temperature even when fired between Cone 5 and 6. In addition, Amaco is popular for its non-toxic and AP-certified formulations that ensure you don’t have to deal with any toxic fumes that are seen during the kiln-firing process.
Selecting the perfect beginner-friendly glaze requires artists to consider several factors, as explained above. First, make sure you test out the glaze you like before implementing it on your project. If you are looking for the best among these top choices, make sure you choose the Mayco Element Glaze that fire at a relatively low temperature. Moreover, its lead-free formulation with smooth application makes it easy for beginners.