How to Glaze Bisque Pottery

Written by ehow hobbies, games & toys editor
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Bisque pottery is a versatile and affordable alternative to stoneware and other clays. When it comes to creating bisque masterpieces, it's all in the glaze. Many techniques can be utilized to get the exact effect you want, and using a glossy overglaze with your bisque pottery is a great way to finish glazing your piece and give it an extra polished look.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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    Design and Glaze

  1. 1

    Draw out your idea. Use colored pencils or whatever tools you have on hand to design your piece on paper first. Focus on the way you want to layer the glazes to create the finished texture and color, as well as the pattern you want to draw.

  2. 2

    Get your first layers of glaze onto the piece. Paint your bisque piece of pottery with glaze colors appropriate for bisque, using light glaze colors first and finishing with your darker glaze color choices.

  3. 3

    Paint with glaze as you would with other paints, but be sure to put three or four layers of glaze onto your bisque pottery for every color you use to get brightly saturated colors once it is fired. Allow the piece to dry to the touch between coats. It will look lighter and feel chalky when it's dry to the touch.

  4. 4

    Use a reference sheet of the finished and fired glaze to help gauge what the finished product will look like. Glazes often look very different before they are fired than they do after.

  5. 5

    Allow the piece to dry thoroughly for 12 hours or more in a warm, dry place before you proceed to fire it or apply an overglaze.

    Overglaze and Fire

  1. 1

    Find a bucket wide and deep enough to hold your piece of bisque without hitting the bottom or sides of the bucket. Fill the bucket with overglaze deep enough to submerge at least half of your piece.

  2. 2

    Stir your overglaze and consult with the manufacturer's parameters for the proper viscosity, or your piece could come out cloudy.

  3. 3

    Dip half your piece into the mixture holding onto the dry half. Shake off excess glaze by holding the piece firmly and holding it above the bucket to avoid smacking your piece against the sides.

  4. 4

    Set it aside and allow it to dry for up to 24 hours. Avoid setting the piece down on a wet side of the piece, preventing your from having to go back and repaint any nicks in the paint caused by the glaze drying to points of contact of the surface it is drying on.

  5. 5

    Come back the next day and dip the second half, repeating the same overglazing method on the second half of the piece. Be sure to avoid overlapping the overglaze by dipping it exactly to the line created from the first half of glazing, or the thick overlapped glaze will appear as a cloudy white line after the piece has been fired.

  6. 6

    Dry the piece for another 24 hours to make sure it is completely dry before firing.

Tips and warnings

  • Always buy compatible glazes and overglazes to use together on bisque pottery

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