Bubble Glazing Pottery Tips and ideas

Pottery is the perfect medium for expressing creativity. Potters are always looking for new ways to improve their art. Glazing can be used to add color to pottery. Glazing adds finesse to your pottery, vibrant colors, eye-catching textures, and a smooth surface. Glazing is a fun part of pottery making. There are several ways to do it, some more difficult than others.

Bubble glazing is a glazing technique that has gained popularity in recent years. This gives ceramics a marble-like look that is nearly impossible to achieve by dipping or brushing.

What is bubble glazing, exactly? Bubble glazing is the application of bubbles to glazes for different effects on ceramics. Bubbles can be used in many ways to finish ceramics, but the materials and process will always remain the same.

What is Bubble Glaze? 

Bubble Glazing involves adding a layer to the surface. You can use a sprayer or a brush to add a layer to the pottery. The piece is placed into a kiln at high heat after it has been coated. The glass melts and forms a bubbled surface.

3D printers and 3D slicers can be used to print Glaze bubbles. Materials that can be 3D printed include Agglomeration (amorphous), Apparent porosity (apparent pores), Ball milling, Dipping glazes, Base glazes, and Amorphous. Microbubbles in ceramic glazes can hurt the transparency and depth of the glaze.

What are their causes, and how can they be eliminated? The industry requires transparent glazes with high transparency that can be fired rapidly but still have a high degree of clarity. The clay ingredients can still cause bubbles in the glaze but will be less noticeable. The same issue plagues commercial brushed glazes, which should always fire crystal clear.

bubble glazing-passionthursday.com

Sticking to a “drop-and-hold” firing schedule will reduce bubbles dramatically. Gas in clays containing iron is lighter and can cause more bubbles to form in glazes. The bubbles become denser when a flame is used to burn through red clay. Terra cotta has a nearly crystal-clear appearance because it does not contain any raw materials that make gas.

Due to their smooth, glassy surfaces and the lack of bubbles on them, a light color will appear. This stoneware cone03 is glazed in red terra-cotta slip with transparent overglaze. Terra-cotta clays release many gases when fired between 1650 and 2000 degrees Celsius at cone 3. You can also fire low-temperature, ultra-clear glazings (made with ferro Frit 3110 and clay) between 1650 and 2000 degrees.

The glaze will be microbubbles, but only if the body has a thin top layer. Gas bubbles are formed at lower temperatures due to the decomposition and hydrates of carbonates. This GLFL test measures the melt flow of two Calcium Carbonate Glaze Recipes at cone 6. Since cone 6, the bubbles have melted and removed any discontinuities.

With 3HX, it is possible to increase the glaze flow. As soon as the gun fires, the body creates bubbles. Raw kaolin loses 12% of its weight during the firing process. The glass at room temperature may be the first to melt, while the glass at room temperature may emit gas. You can remove micro-bubbles in food by adding iron to clear the glaze. After firing, the particles in the body break down and form.

if you want to deglaze your pottery then this post is must read for you: removing pottery glaze simplified

How do you make a glaze with bubbles?

You can glaze your pottery in several different ways. You can use a real glaze or bubble an underglaze. The actual glaze comes in many different colors. On the other hand, Underglaze is a type of paint used to decorate pottery.

Some artists dip a piece of bisque-fired pottery in white glaze. Then, they create bubbles by mixing another glaze color with dish soap. Other craftsmen bubble-glaze the bisque first and then cover it in a clear glaze.

Other artists, however, work with underglaze. Underglaze is an art form of paint used to decorate ceramics. The paint is heated up in a Kiln and undergoes chemical reactions to give the pottery a stunning final look. The final color may vary and not be the same as what you painted before firing.

Under glazing pottery before bisque firing is a popular method. This leaves beautiful patterns of underglaze on a white clay background. Cover the item with a thin layer of white glaze to seal it.

After the first firing, some painters will use underglaze. There is no one way to bubble glaze. We recommend experimenting with the bubble glazing process to see which method suits you best.

Basics on Bubble Glazing

The most common reason that potters use bubble glaze on their crafts is to create marble effects. You’ll need these materials to achieve this effect:

  • Bisqueware
  • Underglaze and Glaze (one in separate containers).
  • Clear Glaze
  • A small cup or container that is clean
  • Water
  • Straw
  • Hand soap or dishwashing soap
  • Ceramic wheel, Turntable, or banding wheel (optional).

Preparing for Bubble Glaze

Choosing the shade or color of glazing before you begin is important. Underglazes should be highly contrasted to help make bubbles on bisque ware more visible.

A darker color should be chosen. The lighter clay will make your bubble marks more visible.

It may look fine to make subtle changes in color or tone, but they will render your design unattractive when fired. Bubbling is based on the thin lines that bubbles make. You can highlight these marks with a dark, concentrated shade.

Mix 3 Tablespoons of Water, 1 Tablespoon of Underglaze, and 2 to 3 squares of hand or dish soap in your cup.

Pour only a small amount into the cup, as it will not be suitable for use in the future.

Mix the water, soap, and underglaze well once you’ve got them all in the cup. Do not add too much water, as it will dilute the underglaze.

What is Glaze Blistering?

The remnants of bubbles from bubble painting or bubble glazing can cause blisters on the surface. The blisters are different sizes and can be larger with greater glaze thickness.

Blisters and blebs can form when the clay is not prepared properly. Borax, boric acids, potassium carbonate, and sodium carbonate can also cause these faults. It is recommended to substitute them with alternative fluxing agents.

If you are Bisque Firing your ceramics, be cautious and ensure you do it correctly. You must ensure that your bisque fire is well-ventilated. It is important to have an efficient ventilation system as the clay will release gases when it oxidizes.

It is also advisable to use a hot bisque to eliminate any sulfur and to make the glaze free of blisters. It is best to start the bisque slowly. Use humidity drying equipment to dry your ceramic work before bisque-firing.

glaze Blistering in ceramic crockery-passionthursday.com

How do you bubble paint ceramics?

Bubble Painting or bubble glazing produces ceramics with unique pieces that have a cloud-like mountain of foam. It’s simple and easy. This technique can be used by anyone who follows a few simple steps.

What are the supplies you will need to create bubble glazing? To begin the process, you will need the following materials:

  • Clear glaze
  • Underglazes or acrylic colors in different colors
  • Dish soap
  • Straws
  • Cups for mixing
  • Cover Object

Follow the steps below to create beautiful patterns on your pottery:

  1. Make the mixture: In a cup, combine two parts underglaze with 1 part water. Add one tablespoon of dish soap to the batter and stir with a straw.
  2. Blowing bubbles: Hold the artwork you wish to glaze in front of you and slowly blow the mixture into it to create different-sized bubbles. These bubbles create beautiful impressions on your artwork as they fall.
  3. Seal the deal: You can repeat steps 1 and 2 with multiple colors. Cover the item after coloring it with a clear sealer.

What is glaze in pottery?

Glazes consist of a liquid suspension made of finely ground mineral particles. These are applied to the surface of bisque-fired ceramic ware by brushing, pouring or dipping. The wares are loaded into the kiln after the glaze has dried and heated to a temperature where the glaze ingredients melt together, forming a glassy finish.

Glazing enhances the piece of fired clay in terms of aesthetics and functionality. Ceramic glazes are decorative and can add color and texture to a piece. Glazes are a great way to seal clay bodies, making them food safe and waterproof. Glazed clays are vitreous, but many clay bodies without glazes would leak liquid if they were not glazed. Glass formers are the main ingredients in glazes. Fluxes and stabilizers make up the other two. The proportions of the three ingredients will vary depending on the type of glaze used.


Glaze origins shed light on different cultures and customs. According to History World, in the 5th Century BC, the Greeks invented unglazed earthenware fired and used for cooking and storage.

In Egypt, in the first century BC, glazes were developed to seal the pots and make them water-resistant. Egyptian paste, a blue-green glassy glazing still widely used today, is the first. 

Early China and the Middle East developed glazed ceramics simultaneously, and they were traded along the Silk Road. Glazed Ceramics were highly prized commodities, and the exchange of ceramic techniques and styles influenced the future development of this craft. 

Early European pottery techniques and glazes were partly influenced by the eastern ceramics which travelled to Rome.

Glaze Application

Glazes can be applied to ceramic surfaces by painting them or dipping the object in a glaze bucket. Dry powders of oxides and glazes can be applied to ceramics. In Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries, a popular process involved tossing sodium bicarbonate or salt into the kiln at the end of the process. The salt vaporizes, merging with the clay surface to form an interesting mottled glazing. This is called salt or soda glaze.

Matte vs Glossy Glazes

Glazes can have a variety of effects on the surface of clay. In ceramics, we call them gloss or matte glazes. Gloss glazes produce a reflective, shiny surface. Matte glazes produce a dull finish, while satin matte glazes are semi-shiny and smooth.

What Are The Tips for Bubble Glazing?

Consider the following tips to get the best results from bubble glazing:

Experimenting with Glaze Consistency

The consistency of your glaze is crucial to the success of bubble glazing. If the glaze is too thick, it may not adhere to the surface of the pottery or form bubbles. The bubbles can burst if the glaze is thin. Try different glaze consistency to find the right one for your bubble-glazing project.

Control bubble size and density

The size and density will determine the final appearance of bubble-glazed pottery. The smaller bubbles will create a delicate, intricate pattern, while the larger ones will produce a dramatic and bold effect. You can adjust the bubble density and size by changing the airflow or the bubble-creation method.

Multiple Layer Glazes

Layering multiple glazes can create a complex, eye-catching bubble glaze pattern. You can achieve this by applying a bubble glaze, letting it dry, and then adding a second color. Try different color combinations to create an eye-catching, unique design.

Use bubble glazing with other techniques.

Combining bubble glazing with other pottery decorating techniques creates a more varied and rich ceramic art. For example, you can use slip or underglaze decoration underneath the bubble glaze to create a striking contrast between the bubble pattern on the surface and the design beneath. You can apply bubble glaze to certain areas and then use other techniques to decorate the rest of the piece, such as brushwork.

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Some Fantastic Ideas for Bubble-Glazed Pottery

There are literally no limits to the possibilities of bubble-glazed ceramics. Your imagination and creativity are all that’s needed. Here are some ideas to inspire your artistic vision.

Create an Inspired Design

Bubble-glazed pottery’s bubbly texture lends itself to designs inspired by the sea. Create an oceanic palette using shades of blue and green. Applying bubble glaze to the surface in waves gives it a feeling of surf and water.

Experiment Abstract Patterns

The bubble glazing creates abstract designs on the surface of the pottery. Try experimenting with various glaze colors and bubble sizes to create various abstract designs.

Incorporate Bubble Glaze into Functional Pottery

Bubble glazing can be used to create functional pottery. It is not just for decoration. Add bubble glaze accents on mugs or bowls to give your tableware a unique look.

Use Bubble Glaze for Detailed Decor

Bubble-glazed pottery has a unique texture that can be used as a background to add more detail. Use bubble glaze on the whole surface of a piece of pottery, and then add designs using other techniques such as brushwork or sgraffito.

ceramic plates with bubble glazing pattern art-passionthursday.com

For Pottery, Are there alternatives in Glazing?

Let’s take a look at some alternatives to using glazing in the conventional sense. We’ll take an in-depth look at the seven best options.

Make use of Tempera Paint in place of Glaze.

Tempera is a pleasure to carry in the pocket. It’s likely to be found in multiple craft stores. Even big chain stores. It’s simple to use and offers an array of colors to pick from. Mix it with water to help lighten the paint, or put it on your palette and begin painting. It will seal to pottery but does not need to be coated with glaze.

Colors will stand out, but you might require two coats of paint, depending on the brand.

Tempera is safe for children and won’t stain your skin. It can be removed from countertops and tables with ease. Just be cautious if you’re planning to paint on furniture made of fabric.

Try Watercolor Painting With The Pottery Clay

The watercolors are a great option for kids that are affordable and easy to purchase. Since watercolors are naturally thinner colors, you’ll likely observe the clay’s color through the paint.

However, this technique can create stunning underwater scenes using cups or bowls, making it appear like an aquarium or even what is under the sea.

It’s simple to clean up and can be fun for the entire family to experience or for someone who is beginning to paint as a pastime.

Coloured Tissue Paper and Its Application on Clay

Another approach to glazing options is to use colored tissue paper and then layering it over spray bottles.

Create as many layers or colors as you like! The dye soaks in the water, imprinting on the clay and creating a stunning tie-dye look.

Once the tissue paper has been removed, you can place the newly decorated pottery in sunlight to air dry over the rest of the day. You don’t have to put anything else into it.

Make sure it’s fully dried before picking it up so the color won’t be transferred to your fingers.

Make your Pottery sparkle By Using Glitter Paint.

Glitter paint is everywhere these times. If you’ve got crafting glitter in your home, you can purchase some paint and create your own!

Remember that making the glitter yourself will mean you’ll control the amount of glitter present compared to store-bought.

Glitter paint used as a glazed alternative could be combined with regular paints to give it a bit of texture if you feel the design is plain. It is also possible to paint over it to create an exciting and sparkly decoration piece.

This is a great idea for an outdoor activity to accompany kids’ birthday celebrations.

Spray Paint Glazing Alternative

For adults and older children wanting to learn about pottery, spray paint painting is an excellent way to create original designs.

Particularly if you own an enormous pottery you’re considering painting. Make your own designs using stencils or stickers to create distinct designs.

It’s also a glitter-based spray paint which you can use! Certain spray paints have some sort of sealant. Therefore, if you want an unbreakable bowl, look for spray paint with the word.

Be cautious, as drinking water from spray-painted pottery might be unsafe.

Try the Good Old Markers

They’re more manageable. They’re also easy to locate and a good alternative to glass for children.

Utilizing non-toxic markers opens the process to even the most insignificant pottery lover. Additionally, drawing on pottery may produce more precise lines and colouring.

Markers also allow you to mark or initialize the pottery or even the date the item was embellished. Also, you can use permanent markers, which are currently available in various colors and sizes.

If you’ve been a professional artist for a while or are one of them, this can be a new medium for drawing on.

Neon and Metallic Paints

Metallic highlights on pottery look attractive. If used correctly, they can give an industrial style or a more mechanical one.

Neons, conversely, have a far more energetic and enjoyable feel. They both add distinctive texture and the appearance of clay pottery, especially when used to highlight details rather than covering the entire thing.

They’re an affordable alternative to glazing that can provide more color and lustre than regular pottery glaze.

Glazing pottery doesn’t require spending a lot of money or searching for a pottery studio in your area to utilize the firing kiln.

There are many DIY methods to add texture, color and a finished look to your ceramic. The methods mentioned above are easy on the budget and are easily found at most shops. You can also order them online.

coconut-bowl-light-gold-metallic-paint-alternative to bubble glazing pottery-passionthursday.com


The technique of bubble glazing is excellent for adding a visual element that is exciting and versatile to your ceramic artwork. Bubble glazing is a versatile and captivating pottery technique offering endless design options and a unique texture for novice and experienced ceramic artists. Understanding the history, the process and tips and tricks of bubble glazing will help you incorporate this fascinating technique in your pottery creations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make bubble glazes using underglaze?

Yes, you can use underglaze for bubble glazing. But, the result could differ slightly from the traditional glaze. Since underglazes tend to be less liquid than glazes, they may produce a more delicate bubble effect on pottery. Experiments with different underglaze compositions and application methods are vital to achieving an ideal bubble-like effect.

How do I create bubble glaze on pottery?

  1. Prepare the glaze: Pick and mix it according to an appropriate consistency.
  2. Make bubbles using straws, a bubble wand or an air compressor to make bubbles within the glaze.
  3. Place the bubbles on the surface: gently apply the bubbles to the surface of the ceramic or let them fall onto the surface. The bubbles will pop and leave a distinctive design on the ceramic surface.
  4. Let the glaze dry before firing the clay according to the recommended timetable.

Why do bubbles from underglaze appear?

Underglaze could bubble up for various reasons, such as over-application or uneven drying, contamination or incompatibility with the clay body or glaze. In addition, incorrect firing schedules or temperatures could cause trapped gases or water to create bubbles during firing. To avoid bubbling, ensure materials’ proper application and compatibility, and follow suggested firing schedules.

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