Ceramic Tutorial: Basic Glaze Technique

Learn step-by-step how to seal your hand-painted designs onto ceramics using enamel so that they’re ready to use

Nuria Blanco (@nb_1980) is a multidisciplinary artist who turns plates and tableware into hand-painted works of art. She is a reference for other Spanish artists, and her work has been exhibited in different galleries and international fairs. She has also been published by the likes of Vogue, AD, El País and others.

In this tutorial, she teaches us the basic glazing technique that seals your drawings onto ceramics, as well as allowing them to be used for food.

Find out in the video.

3 basic steps to glaze ceramic tiles

You will only need:

- Transparent gloss glaze
- Glazing tongs
- A bucket
- Water
- A wooden spoon
- A cloth or rag for cleaning

1. Mix the glaze with water

Nuria recommends the proportions of 60% glaze to 40% water. Mix the blend with a wooden spoon. Let it stand for a couple of days, until all the glaze powder is dissolved into the water.

The ideal texture is that of milk, i.e. not too thick. If it’s hot, leave the bucket covered so that the water doesn’t evaporate and the texture of the mixture isn’t altered.

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2. Use the tongs to submerge your ceramic piece

Insert your piece into the mixture using glazing tongs. You can also do this by hand, but you will have to fix the finger marks that will be left on your piece by adding more glaze.

Don't leave the piece in the mixture for more than three or four seconds. If your ceramic gets covered in too much glaze, your drawing may suffer.

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3. Remove your ceramic and clean the base with a cloth

The technique used by Nuria is to rest the piece on the cloth and turn it over to remove any excess enamel. If you have used glazing tongs, only the marks of the support points will remain. All you have to do to remove these is pass your finger gently over them.

Once the glazing stage is completed, your piece is ready for the kiln.

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Love this tutorial? Learn artisanal techniques to paint compositions and create original tableware designs in Nuria's online course Hand-Painted Ceramics.

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- Ceramics Tutorial: How to Add Texture to Your Plant Pots
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- Ceramic Tutorial: How to Make a Rock-Shaped Flower Pot From Clay
- Marbling Techniques for Ceramics, a course by Coralí Lecca Céspedes
- Floral Illustration on Ceramic, a course by Catalina Cumsille

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