Hi Leah... no need to feel stupid about these things! As with
all things, CONTEXT is everything. And so when the subject of
"clear glaze" is mentioned, it is only in the context of
applying it whenever NO OTHER glaze is present. In other words,
if you are planning to use another type of glaze with colors or
other visual qualities, then there's no necessity for applying a
clear glaze over the top of it all.
The only reason to use a clear glaze is either for protective
purposes, in regards to the clay or "underglaze" surface, or for
ensuring that clay work ends up with a slight sheen or bright
Especially with low-fire clay work, that low-fire clay will
generally STILL be fairly porous, even after the final firing.
If that clay surface has not been sealed with some kind of
protective barrier, then those pores can easily collect grease
and dirt from simply handling or even after sitting on an
exposed shelf for a while. Therefore, even if you simply wanted
the bare clay to show without any other decoration at all, you
still would be wise to put a clear glaze over it in order to
protect it from outside influences (clear glazes can come as a
shiny gloss, semi-gloss or even dull matt surface).
"Underglazes" are not actually "glazes" at all, but are
basically somewhere in between a clay and a glaze. It's good to
understand that underglazes are DESIGNED to stay porous at
low-fire temperatures, and for that reason should always be
covered with a clear glaze to protect them. I say "should" there
only because of it's practicality, not because it MUST be done.
In fact, sometimes you can get some pretty cool visual and
tactile things going on by leaving them purposefully uncovered
(for instance, the Spectrum "Velvet" series of underglazes is
designed especially for such purposes).
So, I hope this helps you understand WHEN and WHY a clear glaze
would ever be used. Good luck on your projects!
> Subject: Re: Need Help With Ceramics (glazing)
> From: "leah from work" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Date: Wed, 7 Feb 2007 13:35:36 -0600
> .... and she forgot to use the clear glaze on top,
> Okay - so lest I feel really stupid, I am about to have kids
> to glazes for the first time myself, AND- whenever I have
> glazed we dipped pots in huge buckets of glaze....
> so - here is my question: WHAT CLEAR GLAZE? Will it still
> come out shiny with out it (Since I've spent my whole budget
> and don't have any?
> WHAAAAAAAAAA - I thought I was so on top of this!