Glazing Dinner Plates

It is now the first of March…..and we are back to the dinner plates. 

Dinner plates for a potter’s home are usually a mix of favorites from your own work, (or seconds in my case from my own work) or favorites from other potters.  I like the mix…. but my partner wants a set.  So now how does a potter make a set that they will enjoy looking at for years to come?  

My thoughts on this are… do not use your best selling glaze… after seeing it daily in your studio for a couple of years you usually get sick of it,  and don’t want to see it daily at your meals.  So I would love to see my dinner plates in one of my infrequently used glazes… which I love.  Those two choices are white on white, (customers don’t even see this glaze when there at a show of mine, it has no shout out, BUY ME value). It is very subtle and food looks great on it, (so when at a show I put a red apple or tomato on it).   The other glaze I love is of course another of the ones that customers pass by, except other potters or artist customers…  they love as much as I do,  and of course that would be a dark brown… a great Albany Slip Oil Spot brown!  Food also looks great on it.

So in between my my work in February I tested some new clear glazes (since my clear tends to craze when applied over the off white glaze for the white on white effect.) My apprentice Pam and I found three nice clears with no crazing when dipped over off white (waxy blush) glaze. So Pam mixed up a 10,000 gram batch of the best from the three.  I tested both the white on white combo, and the black oil off white combo on small plates.  They both look beautiful.  I tend to like the white on white better (remember I work in porcelain).  The family voted on the white also, but there was one problem after the vote, a week later, and after the dishwasher… the whole plate crazed, not a nice crackle type glaze but a circular crazing… a glaze just not fitting the clay body at all!

So now my next step is to apply the clear glaze super thin over the off white , wait two weeks, and throw it in the dishwasher! 

Hopefully I’ll have more on this with photos next post!


6 thoughts on “Glazing Dinner Plates

  1. WOW! Has that ever happened before? Didn’t see that one coming. Was it the flexing in dishwasher temperature? Boy, and after all that glaze was mixed. Is it crazing when alone or over other glazes? Lots to talk about in the studio tomorrow!

  2. Hi Lucy – Your post got me to thinking about the clear glaze that I just used on some dinner ware… I had been having mega-problems with crazing and finally special ordered some low-expansion clear from Laguna and tested it. It worked great- but I haven’t tried it in the dishwasher! I’d better do that next, before I put in on the next cycle of work. Thanks for your post!

  3. Clear can be sometimes tricky… especially over other glazes as in the case of my plates. I have also found it difficult with the pocelain body I work with from Sheffield Pottery. It’s my favorite porcelain I’ve ever used though.

    One thing to note is that I also found my test tile crazed two weeks after it came out of the kiln… so it’s not just the dishwasher.

  4. Hi Lucy,

    Last year, I had some serious crazing problems,
    at the start of the new year, with a glaze I had used
    as a liner for years-on many types of clay.

    At the time, I was purchasing clay from the supplier
    you use. After many glaze modifications failed to
    solve the problem, I started testing with other clays.
    In the end, it seemed that the supplier had changed the
    formula, so I am now using a Tucker’s porcelain-
    no more crazing!

    So before you dump 10,000 g.of glaze, beg, borrow or steal
    other clays and do more tests.

    Good luck!


  5. I’ve been a potter long enough to know you change the clay body with continued unwanted crazing. I love this clay body… it throws so well, and great for students.
    The main problem with this crazing is when it overlaps another glaze. If it is used alone there is no crazing when applied thin. So the glaze will be fine, I just won’t get the desired effect wanted for the dinnerware plates!

  6. I know just what you mean about the white on white glazes… one of my favorite mugs is an off-white mug with no decoration, just a beautiful form, from a professor I had. I traded with him and he was glad that I appreciated it, because not many other people would. There was the slightest variation in the glaze, not a flat color, and I love the simple, subtle beauty of it.

    I hope the glazing goes well, and good luck with your dinner set 🙂

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