The Best Ceramic Glazes for Pottery

Pottery making and glazing are ancient arts. Glazes color, decorate, or waterproof a piece and enhance underlying features. Glazes first appeared on stone work in the late 3000s BC, and Ancient Egyptian fritware self-glazed once fired. With the invention of glass, around 1500 BC, glaze-on techniques grew. Artisans in the Middle East and Egypt developed alkali and ash glazes; in China, they used ground feldspar. By 100 BC, lead glazing had reached the West; trading cities Damascus, Fustat, and Tabriz became centers for innovative glaze styles; and sophisticated techniques spread around the world. Modern ceramicists, such as Woodman and Picasso, used glaze to design pieces; Rie and Coper used it for subdued color variations and natural patterns. Below, we navigate the glazes now available.


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