Natural Glazes: Collecting and Making

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By Miranda Forrest

Like clay, all glaze materials come from the earth.  Traditionally, stones, plants, and other natural materials provided the elements for ceramic surface decoration.  In an age of synthetic and mass-produced glazes, handmade glazes from locally sourced ingredients allow artists to produce unique pieces that reflect their surrounding landscapes.  In Natural Glazes, Miranda Forrest guides readers through the process of experimentation and discovery to make amazing hues from organic materials.

Whether a glaze is mixed from scratch or local items are added to a commercial glaze, this concise book teaches the essential steps.  A variety of glaze materials is available in any location, and Forrest shows artists how to recognize and gather appropriate ingredients and prepare them for blending.  She explains how to work with vegetation and organic materials such as grass, wood, and seashells, giving step-by-step directions for mixing glazes and testing sample blends for optimal results.  Natural Glazes covers application and firing techniques such as raku and offers health and environmental safety information.

Natural Glazes contains full-color photographs of completed works, charts and tables providing firing times and other data, and insightful essays from other ceramic artists specializing in natural glaze work.  Using found materials in glazes is a creative way to add a local touch to ceramics.  With Natural Glazes, inspiration may be as close as your own backyard.