Popular Pottery Glazing Techniques

Popular Pottery Glazing Techniques

One of the best things about pottery is the large number of glazing techniques available to decorate your finished work. You can experiment with endless combinations of pottery decorations. One can achieve countless possibilities by combining at least two glazes and get magnificent effects. You can impart more life into your glazes with these techniques. They are highly recommended for oxidation firing. Let us teach you some of the best pottery glazing techniques and how to use them in your pottery experiments.


Sponging is one of the most popular pottery glazing techniques used by potters. You can use synthetic as well as natural sponges for the pottery. First, immerse the pot into a layer of glaze that you want to use as the background of your pot. You can use a sea sponge with another glaze color to create your own pattern. Visit a craft store and cut the sponge into different shapes that you might want to try. Try to use different colors, shapes, and applicators for more appealing effects.


Etching requires you to have two different glazes; make sure to test these colors in advance. The process begins with dipping the pot into a light colored glaze and then allowing it to dry. The second step involves dipping the pot into the dark colored glaze and then waiting for it to dry. Start with carving a pattern at the top layer of the pot and try to expose the underneath glaze. You can achieve highly intricate patterns with proper care during the carving process. After the pot has been fired, carved patterns will appear within a beautiful background.


The stamping process involves the use of florist foam. Draw a pattern on top of the foam. Use the mini-ribbon tool and carve a design over the foam. You just need to dip the foam in your desired glaze and stamp it over the pot which is already painted with a contrasting glaze. Allow the pot to dry and wait for the beautiful designs to appear.


Marbleizing is more suited for platters and bowls. The process requires you to be quick and efficient. Arrange a waste bucket for pouring contaminated glazes during the process. Now choose three to four different colored glazes; it is best to use different quantities of each glaze. Start with pouring the glazes in to the pot and swirl them smoothly to get the look of marble. Quickly dump these glazes out of the pot and in to the waste bucket. This system is more suited for the interior of the pots and you can continue with the exterior glaze after the interior is dried. You can achieve many different designs by experimenting with different glazes and their quantities. Learn to control the glaze’s flow and you will be well on your way to creating a masterpiece.

There are some other glazing techniques that you can use including Wax Resist, Tape Resist, and Powdering. Keep in mind that you can achieve best results by experimenting throughout the glazing process.

November 25, 2013


One response to “Popular Pottery Glazing Techniques”

  1. I love the texture in the image around the inner edge of the plate. It appears to be carved out, but I wonder if another technique is used to create that free form texture. If so, would you be willing to share how it was done?

    Thanks from another potter for 45 years.

    Peter Jones

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