Glaze Calc Component

This is a 4-6 week glaze calc component that can be added into a course to give the student a working understanding of the basic principles of a glaze, the ways the materials in our studio work, and how to test glazes and formulate new ones that better realize the goals in our work.

This is designed as a “starter course” for a basic understanding of glaze calc. Further study is always encouraged.

Additional glaze resources can be found HERE.

Approximate schedule (as usual, subject to change)

Class ONE

  • READING: Chapter 1 of GLAZE: The Ultimate Ceramic Artist’s Guide to Glaze and Color by Brian Taylor and Kate Doody
  • Lecture on components of glazes: fluxes, glassformers, stabilizers, opacifiers, and colorants
  • Make test tiles and fusion buttons. Load bisque kiln with tiles and buttons

Class TWO

  • READING: From GLAZE – Pages 44-45, 69-85, 94-95
  • Unload bisque with test tiles and buttons 
  • Demo fusion buttons. Make fusion tests. Load fusions into cone 10, cone 6, and 04 kilns
  • Refresh our understanding of the components of a glaze
  • Review


  • Demo how to use the digital and triple beam balance. 
  • Demo line blends.
  • Line blend handout
  • Design line blend experiments with each student and start mixing tests. These tests need to be mixed and applied to tiles by the end of the next class.

Class FOUR

  • Organize and review fusion test results
  • Finish mixing and applying line blends
  • Load line blends into cone 10 / cone 6
  • Lecture about glaze fit, glaze defects and how to troubleshoot, COE, major categories of glazes (lowfire, midrange, highfire)

Class FIVE

  • Class discussion on line blend tests if they are all out of the kiln. (If they aren’t out, move discussion to next class)
  • Discuss the principles and purpose of triaxial blends, how they work, etc.
  • Begin designing individual triaxial blends with each student.

Class SIX

  • READING: From GLAZE: Pages 86-93, 96-99
  • Triaxial blend handout
  • Demo how to make triaxial blends.
  • Finish designing triaxial blends if we didn’t finish last class.
  • Triaxial blend worksheet
  • Start mixing and applying triaxial blends. These tests need to be ready to load into the cone 10 at the start of the next class (best to give students a weekend to do this).


  • Load triaxials into cone 10 / cone 6
  • Review all glaze information in preparation for glaze quiz
  • Introduce Tools for the Apocalypse project


  • Unload triaxial blends.
  • Class discussion on triaxial tests if they are out
  • Take glaze quiz