What is the course about?
This structured 12 week course will combine lectures and practical sessions to introduce you to the theory and practice of glaze technology. You will learn about ceramic raw materials, where they come from, how they behave at different temperatures and interact to create glazes. In practical sessions you will learn how to mix your own glazes from raw materials and gain hands on experience of methods of experimentation and empirical testing that will enable you to plan, execute and record a structured programme of glaze testing. You will learn essential skills that will enable you to make, modify and develop your own glazes and to analyse glaze faults and remedy them.
What will we cover?
• Essential health and safety procedures when using glaze materials.
• The Three main components of glazes and how they interact in the glaze itself.
• How ceramic raw materials behave at earthenware and stoneware temperatures.
• How glaze chemistry affects colour response of oxides.
• How to create colour, opacity, mattness and texture in glazes.
• Methods of experimentation and empirical testing including line blends.
• Note taking – how to record and analyse glaze test results.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Understand the Health and Safety principles in relation to the use of ceramic materials and glazing.
• Investigate and analyse the melting temperature of ceramic raw materials.
• Understand how glazes work
• Understand and apply methods of experimentation and empirical testing including line blends.
• Apply these methods to modify and develop your own glazes
• Understand the colours produced by oxides and how colour changes according to the different chemical bases of glazes.
• Develop colour palettes and carry out tests of colour oxides in differing base glazes
• Develop opacity, mattness and texture in glazes.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is open to people who have some experience of working in clay and want to learn about glazes and gain practical experience of making and testing glazes. You should be able to use and read a set of scales so you can accurately weigh out glaze ingredients You will need to be able to follow verbal and written instructions in English, as well as communicate information clearly in writing. You will also need a basic mathematical understanding of adding and subtracting.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
• Lectures / slide shows.
• Practical demonstrations.
• Practical exercises – empirical approach.
• Pair and group work
• Group discussions.
• Guided individual research.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Most ceramic materials are covered by the course fee. Tools are available within the department for use but you may want to purchase your own. Ensure that you bring with you a suitable pair of closed shoes, e.g. not open toed sandals. You will be expected to show good workshop practice and follow health and safety guidelines.
The Following items would be desirable, but can be provided if necessary:
Variety of brushes
A4 file for handouts.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Within City Lit you could progress onto the City Lit Ceramics course -VR737, VR708, VR710, the Ceramics Portfolio Course -VR711, the Diploma Course in Ceramics - VR712, all of which are structured courses that can lead to higher education or independent studio practice.