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  • Photo du rédacteurTobias Pocock

The Art of Pot Glazing: Techniques from Around the World

Pottery has been around for thousands of years, and one of the most striking features of a beautifully crafted pot is its glaze. Glaze is a type of glass coating that is applied to pottery to make it waterproof and more visually appealing. The glaze is a mixture of different elements and components that are melted at high temperatures to create a glass-like surface. In this blog post, we'll explore the different techniques used in pot glazing, including the temperatures at which the glaze melts, the different elements used in glazes, and the unique glazing techniques from different parts of the world.


What is Glaze?


Glaze is a vitreous coating applied to ceramic ware, which fuses to form a glass-like surface after being fired at high temperatures to make it waterproof and more visually appealing. The glaze is made up of different elements and components that are melted together at high temperatures to create a smooth, glossy surface. The components of glaze can include silica, alumina, and fluxes such as feldspar or boron.


Temperatures for Glaze to Melt


The temperature at which the glaze melts is critical to the final appearance and quality of the pot. Generally, glazes are melted at temperatures between 1,100 and 1,300 degrees Celsius (2,012 and 2,372 degrees Fahrenheit). At these high temperatures, the glaze components melt and fuse together, creating a smooth, glass-like surface.


Different Elements in Glaze


The components of glaze vary depending on the desired color, texture, and function of the finished pot. One common element in glaze is silica, which creates a glassy surface when melted. Alumina is another common component, which adds strength to the glaze. Fluxes such as feldspar or boron are added to lower the melting temperature of the glaze and help the different components fuse together. Glazes can be composed of a variety of elements and components, such as calcium, and oxides of metals like iron, copper and cobalt.


Different Glazing Techniques


Japan has a rich history of pottery and is known for its unique and intricate glazing techniques. Here are some of the most popular Japanese glazing techniques and their descriptions:

Oribe: This glazing technique was developed in the 16th century and is characterized by its bold designs and vivid colors. It often features geometric patterns and motifs, and is commonly used for tea ceremony utensils.

Shino: This technique involves applying a thick layer of glaze to create a textured, matte surface. The glaze is usually white or cream-colored, and is often used for tea ceremony wares.

Tenmoku: Tenmoku glazes are known for their deep, lustrous black color, which resembles the glaze on Chinese Song dynasty tea bowls. This technique involves applying a high-iron glaze that creates a variegated effect as it melts.

Kintsugi: This technique involves repairing broken pottery with gold or silver lacquer, creating a beautiful and unique piece. It is often used for tea ceremony utensils or other ceremonial objects.

Celadon: This technique involves applying a pale, translucent glaze that ranges in color from blue-green to gray. The glaze is often crackled and has a smooth, glass-like surface.

Hagi: This technique involves using a white or cream-colored glaze with a matte finish, often applied to a textured surface. The glaze is often used for tea ceremony utensils and is known for its delicate beauty.

These Japanese glazing techniques are just a few examples of the country's rich pottery history and artistic traditions. Each technique offers its own unique style and beauty, making Japanese pottery and ceramics highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts around the world.


Example of Kintsugi


Chinese pottery has a long and rich history of glazing techniques that have influenced the ceramics industry worldwide. Here are some of the most notable Chinese glazing techniques:

Jun Glaze - Jun glaze is a type of opaque glaze that produces a smooth, lustrous finish. It has a unique texture that appears to crackle with an iridescent effect. This type of glaze was used on imperial ceramics during the Song dynasty.

Guan Glaze - Guan glaze is a type of celadon glaze that was developed during the Northern Song dynasty. It is known for its soft, bluish-green color and crackled appearance.

Ge Ware - Ge ware is a type of ceramic that was made during the Southern Song dynasty. It is known for its distinctive crackled glaze and its ability to produce a "metallic" sound when struck.

Jian Glaze - Jian glaze is a type of iron-rich glaze that was developed during the Song dynasty. It produces a dark, almost black color with a lustrous sheen. The glaze is often seen on tea bowls and other tea ware.

Jun Yao - Jun Yao is a type of ceramic that was made during the Song dynasty. It is known for its thick, opaque glaze that produces a range of colors from purplish-blue to sky blue. The glaze often has a mottled or streaked appearance.

Ding Ware - Ding ware is a type of white porcelain that was developed during the Tang dynasty. It is known for its thin, translucent body and its glaze that produces a blue-white color.

Each of these glazing techniques has its own unique characteristics and has contributed to the rich history of Chinese ceramics.


Example of Jun Glaze


Vietnamese pottery has a rich tradition that dates back to ancient times, with many different techniques and styles that have evolved over the years. Here are some of the most popular glazing techniques used in Vietnam:

Celadon: This is a type of glaze that is known for its pale blue-green color and crackled appearance. It is created by firing the pottery at a high temperature in a reducing atmosphere, which causes the iron in the clay to interact with the glaze and create the unique color.

Brown glaze: This is a classic glazing technique that has been used in Vietnam for centuries. It is a simple, earthy brown glaze that is often used on functional pottery such as teapots and bowls.

Blue and white: This is a classic glazing technique that is found throughout Asia, but has a unique style in Vietnam. The blue and white glaze is created by painting intricate designs onto the surface of the pottery using a cobalt oxide pigment.

Crystalline glaze: This is a unique type of glaze that creates a stunning crystalline pattern on the surface of the pottery. It is created by adding certain chemicals to the glaze mixture, and then firing the pottery at a high temperature.


Vietnam Black: This is a type of glaze that creates a deep black color on the surface of the pottery. It is created by firing the pottery in a reducing atmosphere, which causes the iron in the clay to interact with the glaze and create the black color.

Atlantis glaze: This is a contemporary take on traditional glazing techniques, featuring a blend of unique colors and textures that evoke the natural beauty of the ocean. This glaze is characterized by its vibrant blues, greens, and earthy tones, often accented with metallic finishes to create a stunning visual effect. Modern Atlantis glaze is perfect for those looking to add a touch of elegance and sophistication to their decor, with its striking and modern look that complements a wide range of interior styles. Its durable finish ensures that it will remain looking beautiful for years to come, making it a popular choice among designers and homeowners alike. Please get in touch with NTCN - Export if you are looking for such pieces.


Each of these glazing techniques creates a unique and beautiful effect on the surface of the pottery, and is a testament to the rich history and craftsmanship of Vietnamese pottery.



Example of Atlantis glaze


European pottery has a rich history of glazing techniques that vary by region and time period. Here are a few examples of European glazing techniques:

Majolica: This is a type of tin-glazed earthenware that was popular in Italy during the Renaissance. The glaze is white and opaque and often decorated with brightly colored designs.

Faience: Similar to majolica, faience is a tin-glazed earthenware that was popular in France during the 18th century. The glaze is white and opaque and often decorated with blue designs.

Delftware: This is a type of tin-glazed earthenware that originated in the Netherlands in the 16th century. The glaze is white and opaque and often decorated with blue designs that are reminiscent of Chinese porcelain.

Salt glaze: This is a type of stoneware that was popular in England during the 18th century. The glaze is created by throwing salt into the kiln during firing, which creates a mottled surface on the pottery.

Slipware: This is a type of earthenware that is decorated with slip, which is a mixture of clay and water. The slip is applied to the surface of the pottery and then incised or stamped to create designs. Slipware was popular in England during the 17th and 18th centuries.

Porcelain: Porcelain was first developed in China but was later produced in Europe. The glaze is usually clear and translucent and allows the pure white color of the porcelain to shine through. Porcelain was highly prized in Europe and was often used to make expensive dinnerware and decorative objects.

These are just a few examples of the many glazing techniques that have been developed in Europe over the centuries. Each technique has its own unique history and characteristics, and they continue to be used and admired by collectors and enthusiasts today.



Example of Salt glaze

Pottery glazing is an art form that has been practiced for thousands of years. The glaze on a pot can add both visual appeal and functionality. The glaze is made up of different components that are melted together at high temperatures to create a smooth, glass-like surface. There are many different glazing techniques used around the world, each with its unique style and character. Whether you're an artist or a pottery enthusiast, understanding the techniques used in pot glazing can help you appreciate the beauty and complexity of this ancient art form.

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