When Glazing goes Wrong

In last weeks post I gave simple and direct guidelines on how to glaze. Following, them should solve a lot of basic glaze problems as well as set you on a path for continued glazing success.

That being said, in the words of my father, “shit happens!”

So, in that event here are your options for when glazing goes wrong, runs down the piece and fuses to the kiln shelf.

If there is only a small drip or perhaps the piece was put onto a previous glaze drip the simplest options are to either grind the piece on black top/gravel or to use a grinding stone (according to Ceramic Supply its a silicon carbide rubbing stone). It looks like this:


One is free, the stone costs about $38.

The thing about these methods is that they are only as powerful as your arm power. So if you have a lot to grind off, you might want to save your shoulder and do as Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor would:


For this I recommend investing in a bench grinder.


This is available at any hardware store. Personally I like Harbor Freight which sells one for $40. Figure if you are going to invest money in a wheel or other ceramic supplies or into a studio membership, believe me its worth investing in.

If you do buy one you should also get corresponding safety goggles and welding gloves.

Impact-SplashGoggles-2 Golden-split-Welding-Gloves

Now there really isn’t much instruction to give when it comes to grinding but I do have a couple of tips:

  • Don’t be afraid of the grinder. If you buy welding gloves your hands will be more than protected. Also the gloves will be useful for unloading hot pieces from a kiln and I like to use my pair when gardening too.
  • Keep a firm hold with 2 hands on the piece at all times.
  • Study the piece as you go, only you can determine when you are happy with the look of it. Make sure though that there are no more sharp edges.
  • If there is a lot of excess glaze, carefully chisel some away. A simple chisel and small hammer will do, nothing special.

Now there is another method of grinding that uses your potters wheel. I’ve not used this method, but here is a video on it:

Now your absolute final option if all else fails is simple…chuck it out, make a new one and don’t use that glaze again.

Hopefully this helps you out next time the kiln gods don’t work in your favor.

Till then, go to the studio and make something.

Questions on the technique, email me at sparanoarts@gmail.com, like what I’m doing feel free to shop my Etsy store


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