Sunday, April 10, 2011

Let the Glazing Begin!

My first graders were ready to glaze their animal sculptures this past week.

Before unleashing them, I had a discussion about the differences in the clay during the firing process. They observed examples of clay in the 3 stages of greenware, bisqueware and glazeware.

(L to R) glazeware, bisqueware and greenware

We compared the color of the clay (gray to pinkish white to yellowish white), the finish (dull to shiny) and how the clay felt (smooth, rough, smooth) in the various forms.

Before handing them their sculptures, I dip the bottom into hot wax to prevent the glaze from getting on the bottom. It cools almost immediately so no worries! I use an old crockpot whose glass lid broke.

Wax resist solution can cost $11 a pint and up depending on the vendor (I would need several pints for 29 classes) but for about the same cost I can get enough canning wax (about 3 - 4 boxes, found in most grocery stores where canning supplies are sold) to do all my clay projects for the year - Can you hear the savings? Cha-Ching!


  1. I should probably do this, too. I end up wiping the excess glaze off the bottom of everything, but that can be pretty wasteful.

  2. This saves so much time - I still check/wipe the bottoms but between the wax & the use of stilts, there is little worry that something will stick to the kiln shelf...

  3. Does the wax melt onto the shelf?

  4. Wax will burn off - no trace left!

  5. Nancie- great post. I've also never waxed the bottoms before and spend sooooo much time checking and wiping them all. Just to clarify, once you've waxed the bottoms- if glaze still gets on the bottom, do you have to wipe that off as well?

  6. You can - I usually have a damp sponge nearby & give them a quick swipe to pick up any of the drips that didn't run off. BUT as long as there is wax between the clay & glaze, it (the glaze) will just burn off!! Let me know how it works for you...


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