Home / 2020 Courses / 42A-2020 – John Colbeck- Glaze Course

42A-2020 – John Colbeck- Glaze Course

42A-2020 – John Colbeck- Glaze Course

October 11 – 17, 2020

A course for the understanding of glazes and glaze materials
 For the intermediate level



The aims of the course are to communicate information about the nature of glaze and the part played by different materials in the formation of glazes and, through this, to give participants the practical and theoretical confidence to mix, evolve and modify glazes to their individual wishes. A further aim is to learn methods of applying glazes onto different shapes.

Nature of the course

The course uses firings at high temperature to exemplify the principles of glaze formation, relevant at all temperatures. Participants will mix and fire glaze tests and material tests. The firings will primarily be fired in a reduction atmosphere but there will also be one oxidised firing and one at lower temperature. Each individual will undertake different work which will contribute to the overall coverage of the course. The explanations, demos and practice will give participants the confidence and ability to comprehend what a glaze is made of and why it does what it does. There will also be demos of various ways to apply glazes to different forms, followed by practice: glazing of test tiles and of bisqued pots.

Approach of the course

The approach of the course is a practical and empirical way of reaching understanding, but the relevance of the theoretical work of Herman Seger is introduced when the practical work of the course is complete. The course is planned for an intermediate level. Basic knowledge about ceramic materials recommended. A reading list may be provided upon request. There will be a maximum of 10 participants.

The artist

John Colbeck has taught full and part time at Ceramics degree courses in the UK throughout his working life and was for many years Head of Ceramics at Bath Academy of Art and, in addition, has taught many short courses and given lectures and seminars in the UK and abroad. He is author of “Pottery, the Technique of Throwing” (1969), “Pottery, Techniques of Decoration” (1983) (both of these still available as Classic reprints from Axner Supplies USA) and “Pottery Materials” (1988). He produces unglazed, polished thrown forms in stoneware and porcelain


October 11 – 17, 2020


Intermediate. Basic knowledge about ceramic materials recommended. A reading list may be provided upon request.







The workshop fee includes the following:
Tuition of 6 – 8 hours per day
Studio open 12 hours per day
All materials and firings
Lodging in double room; single room on request at additional fee of 200 euros
Freshly prepared three course lunch with wine on all working days
Welcome breakfast, Welcome and Final dinner
Coffee break in the mornings and in the evenings

Cancellation policy

A deposit is required at registration. After submitting the registration form, you may proceed with the payment on-line. If you choose to pay by bank transfer, the registration will be confirmed once the deposit has been accredited in our banking account. The balance must be paid at the beginning of the course.

You may withdraw within 14 days of registration without incurring in any penalties and will have the deposit fully refunded.  No refund of deposits past 14 days of registration, pursuant to articles 53 and following of the EU consumer protection legislation.
If La Meridiana cannot hold the course due to unforeseen events beyond our control, La Meridiana reserves the right to offer a voucher for a different course of your choice. The voucher is valid for two years. The deposit will be transferred to the new course.

Programme outline

Talk: the origins of glaze; the nature of glaze suspensions; the making of tests; glaze application; safe use of glaze materials and glazes
Practical work: preparing and applying samples of materials, and mixtures of materials, to test fire;
and beginning practical work of Tuesday.
Firing of material samples tests (that day). Firing 1.

Talk: the oxide composition of the mineral materials used in glazes and their roles in the formation of glazes; classic types of high temperature glazes; matt and glossiness in glazes.
Practical work: mixing and sieving different glazes for application to tests
Overnight firing of tests. Firing 2.

Talk: colour in glaze; the colouring oxides and commercial glaze stains and the importance of glaze context on their effect; the effect of atmosphere – reduction and oxidation
Practical work: pigment addition to glazes for application to tests
Overnight firing of tests. Firing 3.

Talk: preparation of found ingredients (wood ash, local clays, granite and marble waste). The nature of frits and their use. Low temperature glazes.
Practical work: completing high temperature test work completed by end of morning for firing that day.
Firing of tests (from midday). Firing 4.

Talk: the work of Herman Seger – the Seger method explained. Tools for glazing. Glaze application to different forms.
Practical work: application of raku and low temperature tests.
Firing in raku kiln. Firing 5.



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