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Latest Glaze Firing Results: I’m Depressed!

Latest Glaze Firing Results:  I’m Depressed!

I was so pumped about this latest gas firing of my kiln!  I had new burners and I thought that this would solve all my problems!  As of late, I’ve been experiencing 14 hour firings and in some cases, I haven’t reached temperature!  So…new burners! Problem solved!  NOT!!!

I know that I’m being overly critical of the results, but after all this time, I would have hoped to have consistently good results.  So I’ve had to take a good look at what is happening and make some adjustments.

Firstly, I’m still TESTING!!! That is ok and a necessary evil, but not on every piece that I put into the kiln!  and the overlapping and combining of glazes that I have no idea how they are going to respond! I have so much glaze on my kiln shelves it is pathetic!

As a result, I did a huge culling of the 36 plus pails of glaze that haunt me.  They call to me, USE ME! and I do and I’m always sorry.  So they have gone in the tip.  I can always make more glaze.

Glazes ready to be binned!

Glazes ready to be binned!

Resolutions for glazing:

1.  Only one glaze on the back side of a piece.

2.  Only use known glazes on the outside of pieces.

3.  Keep overlays to a minimum.

4.  Be consistent in my making and glazing until I have good results, then move on.

Sounds so basic and easy when I write it down, but, believe me, I have created monsters out of my clay work!!!

Here are some photos of the results! Be sure to click on the small pic to enlarge it!

All that said, I made a new piece today…NEVER say DIE!!! I will conquer the GLAZE MONSTER!!

In conclusion, I made a new tray...don't give up!

In conclusion, I made a new tray…don’t give up!

Peace out!


Written by Marian Williams


  1. Emma Lee · July 29, 2013

    I feel your frustration Marian – glazing is my nemesis too! I had a chat with Cory at Pottery supplies today about running a series of trouble shooting workshops about glazing, focusing on different issues – eg. mixing, application, layering, oxidation vs reduction. Any suggestions welcome 🙂 Will keep you posted.
    Oh – and don’t be too harsh on yourself, they’re lovely xx

    • Marian Williams · July 31, 2013

      Glad you feel my frustration! I need sympathy and ANSWERS! The glaze workshop sounds amazing! I’m in! I would like help on using propane-psi’s, when to reduce and for how long, layering-(just read that anything on tenmoku will make it run! Who knew!)- so as a group just asking and answering questions it would be awesome! Come to my place to do it!! I have heaps of room!

      • Emma Lee · July 31, 2013

        Will keep you posted – won’t happen for a little bit due to some other commitments, but in the next 6 months and beyond. Thanks for the positive response 🙂

  2. Julie sieving · July 29, 2013

    Hey Marian, even thoigh they didn’t come out the colors you expected. They are really pretty, really loved the iron tray. It is a very unique color.

    • Marian Williams · July 31, 2013

      Thanks, glad you like it! I’m really self-critical…but in person it is pretty ugly!

  3. Kings Creek Pottery · July 29, 2013

    Wow- can I relate to you!! I also struggle with the kiln consistency issue and it’s so frustrating….likewise with glaze folly! Like you, I need to be better about writing notes and keeping track of experiments so I don’t keep repeating the same mistakes (sigh). BUT it does feel good to know I have a kindred spirit out there 😉

    • Marian Williams · July 31, 2013

      Glad to hear that I’m not the only one with firing and glazing problems! It is sosoooo frustrating! I’m a bear to be around when things are going south in the pottery area! I am keeping notes and keeping track of experiments, but I am repeating the same mistakes! Thus the glazes in the bin- had to cull them! I think we need a gas firing forum for those of us who are still learning-not beginners, but need advice and support!
      Maybe we can start a facebook group for that? Love your dogs! My springer is my best mate!

  4. Annie · July 30, 2013

    I thought I was the only one having inconsistent results with a gas kiln. Inherited from an elderly potter and wasn’t used for years. Firing on Sunday after 9.5 hours just couldn;t reach 1080 C. it just stuck on 1044C. so gave up. The glaze results are OK, but I despair of reaching a high enough temperature for stoneware.

    • Marian Williams · July 31, 2013

      No you are not alone!!! Same- I bought my kiln and all her studio stuff (a bunch!!) from an elderly potter. So all is a bit rusty.
      I keep reading and reading, trying to figure it all out…basically, it is trial and error. I’m just tired of all the errors!
      Firing again soon! I won’t give up!

  5. Georgia · July 30, 2013

    Funny thing about results, they’re so subjective. The runoff must be annoying but the pieces look great. I really like that iron and clear glaze – it looks like tooled leather. And that ‘ugly’ one, with the blue speckles coming out of beige, looks really interesting. Can’t believe you binned all that glaze … nooooooo …. (though I can understand wanting to make a clean break too).

    • Marian Williams · July 31, 2013

      Thanks for the kudos! Guess I’m being really picky, but my expectations are high! Yes, it was hard to throw all those good chemicals out!
      and the work of mixing them…but, It had to be done! See comment to Future Relics-I still have plenty of glazes to work with!

  6. FutureRelicsGallery · July 31, 2013

    36 options can be overload, we want to play with them all right now. You’re smart to learn one at a time. I know, easier said than done.

    • Marian Williams · July 31, 2013

      Yes, 36+ was a killer! Too many permutations!!! and opportunity for screw ups!! Wish me luck!
      However, I counted what I have left and I have 8 base glazes and 7 accent glazes – 15!!! still too many chances for error!

  7. Nina Harrison · August 19, 2013

    Glazing is one reason I am a micaceous potter. No choices, same results every time!

  8. Jackie · September 22, 2014

    janicethepotter youtube videos has been very helpful regarding glazes. She lets you know the glaze combinations that comes out really nice and she test tiles them on different colored clay bodies. Worth watching them. She has over 200 videos. I have learned a lot from her.

  9. Sonya · February 22, 2016

    Well, they may not have turned out like you expected but they still are very beautiful. My instructor gave me some great advice. Put your failed piece in a closet for six months and then look at it, and you might see a different piece and like it. Expectations! Good luck and way to keep on trying.

    • Marian Williams · February 25, 2016

      Hey, Sonya, that’s great advice and I will do. Thanks for the lovely words of encouragement.

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