Glazes: home-made or commercial?

Currently, I’m using jars of commercial glazes, despite Steve Hunter’s recommendation that I start using my own glazes. Steve has been a potter for over 40 years, his work is top shelf, so I listen when he makes suggestions. However, I’ve been working methodically toward this goal; entering the territory of home-made glazes requires some research to get it right.

Easy recipes abound across the internet and I’ve collected my share of them, so when it comes to that part of my methodical process, I’m in good shape. Using home-made glazes is not just about collecting recipes, it’s about understanding the chemical components of a formula: how each chemical acts in the formula, how it interacts, etc. I found a great shopping list of chemicals to get started.

glaze mixing room   bentonite.glaze.mixing1

Next it’s setting up and stocking a mixing area; figuring out where/ how I’ll store glaze chemical powders and buckets of mixed glaze. I’ve purchased a good balance scale but now to purchase: sieves, scoops, a designated glaze drill with mixing bit, a respirator, mixing paddles, dipping tongs, a hydrometer, and chemical storage bins.

When I’ve settled on a recipe or two along with their variations, it’ll be time for making and glazing a bunch of test tiles; then revising recipes accordingly.

In the meantime, I’m using jars of commercial glaze, experimenting with how these various glazes interact with each other and with different clay bodies.
The process continues…