October 8, 2023

Exploring the Effects of Clear Glaze Over Glaze

Discover the possibilities of layering clear glaze over colored glazes to produce optical effects. Learn techniques like selective coating, masking, & texturing

Clear glaze

Clear glaze layered over colored glaze can offer a plethora of creative possibilities to ceramists. This strategic application can produce a spectrum of visual effects, ranging from the enigmatic subtleties of muted colors to the dramatic illusion of crackling. This exploration covers various techniques such as selective spot coating, masking, resist texturing, and more, which allow for an intriguing interplay between clear and colored glazes.

Can You Apply Clear Glaze Over Colored Glaze?

Yes, indeed. Clear glaze can purposefully be overlaid on colored glaze to achieve certain artistic effects. When executed with suitable glaze compatibility and proper firing, a clear top layer can yield:

  • An enhanced radiance and luminosity in the underlying colored glaze.
  • Optical mixing, where colors visually blend through the clear glaze.
  • Amplified surface textures, as the clear glaze accentuates contours.
  • Muted or frosted areas where clear glaze overlays colored glaze.
  • Simulated crazing or crackling with specific texturing techniques.

The clear glaze essentially adds depth and an additional dimension of light to your ceramic art.

Best Practices for Applying Clear Glaze Over Colored Glaze

Adhering to certain methodologies can help ensure a successful outcome:

  • Verify compatible chemistry - Ensure that the expansion coefficients are similar for both glazes.
  • Fire evenly and without defects until maturity to properly accept the clear glaze layer.
  • Let the base glaze dry completely before applying the clear glaze.
  • Use thin clear coats to prevent overshadowing the base glaze.
  • Consider selective spot coating versus covering the entire surface.
  • Test compatibility on glaze test tiles before proceeding with the final application.

Creating Unique Effects with Clear Over Colored Glazes

Artists can harness the power of clear over colored glaze to achieve a variety of unique outcomes:

  • Muting bright colors by fully covering them with a clear glaze.
  • Enhancing dimensional textures such as ridges or craters.
  • Using masking or taping to accent raised areas with clear glaze selectively.
  • Applying transparent mists over underlying colors.
  • Trailing, dripping, or pouring clear over base coats.
  • Incising or engraving lines/patterns to expose lower colors.
  • Texturing with resists before applying clear.

The interplay of opaque and transparent elements can create dynamic, fascinating surfaces.

Enhancing Textures with Clear Glaze

Applying clear glaze over textured base coats can amplify the visual and tactile qualities of the textures. Some techniques you can experiment with include:

  • Carving, etching, or engraving lines for accentuation by clear glaze.
  • Trailing thick clear glaze over runny base colors.
  • Brushing clear glaze heavily over textured glaze beneath.
  • Using resist methods such as tape or wax to create patterns.
  • Painting clear glaze into intricate textures to create pooling effects.
  • Stippling clear glaze with a sponge over varied textures.

These texturing techniques can even mimic crazing and crackling effects without compromising the integrity of the piece.

Inspiring Combinations of Clear Over Colored Glaze

Here are a few inspiring combinations of clear over colored glaze:

  • Pouring thinned clear glaze over underlying blue crackle.
  • Accenting raised edges of a red lava glaze with brushed clear glaze.
  • Creating foggy landscapes with clear mists layered over earthy underglazes.
  • Allowing dripped green running glaze to appear frozen in motion by a thin clear coat.

The interplay of light on these combined surfaces can open up new dimensions in your work. When wielded creatively, the use of clear glaze over colored glaze can be a powerful tool for enhancing and transforming your ceramic art.

Get our email when new blog posts go live

Recent posts

Browse all posts