What Is The Purpose Of The Glaze On Pottery?

Pottery is an ancient art that continues to be popular today for its beauty and functionality. One of the most important aspects of pottery is the glaze, a thin layer of glass-like material that is applied to the surface of the clay to give it a beautiful, glossy finish.

To better understand, imagine clay is like a body as we call it a clay body and a glaze is like a dress. Every glaze has to fit the clay body. In each stage of creating pottery, the clay shrinks and the shrinkage of each clay should be the same as the shrinkage of the glaze.

Handling a glaze is also an aspect which requires knowledge and understanding as glazes and glaze materials can be toxic. This also means it is important to use food-safe glazes for inside of any utilitarian pottery and ceramics pieces. Hence, learning health and safety in the workshop is an important part of becoming a good potter or a ceramic artist.

But the glaze does more than just make pottery look nice – it also has several benefits that make it an essential part of pottery making. However, it is not as easy as it sounds, thus enrolling into glazing workshops is essential to learn the process.

Let’s explore the purpose of the glaze on pottery & how workshops will help you learn the right technique.

The Glaze Protects The Pottery

One of the primary purposes of the glaze is that it protects the pottery. When applied to pottery, the glaze forms a barrier between the pottery and the environment. This barrier helps to prevent dirt, dust, and other debris from collecting on the surface of the pottery. It also helps to protect the pottery from water damage and staining.

By creating this protective layer, the glaze helps to preserve the pottery and extend its life. In addition, the glaze can help to prevent cracking and chipping which can occur when pottery is exposed to drastic changes in temperature.

Give A Shiny Finish

By learning a technique from a glaze- making workshop and applying a glaze to pottery you can give the pottery a shiny finish. Glaze can help to create a glossy or satin-like surface on the pottery, which can make the pieces look elegant and attractive.

Depending on the type of glaze used, you can achieve a range of different finishes, such as metallic or pastel colors, matte surfaces, or iridescent or mother-of-pearl effects. The glaze also helps to protect the pottery from scratches and other wear and tear, which can help keep it looking new for longer.

Makes The Pottery Waterproof

The glaze that is applied to pottery serves the purpose of making the pottery waterproof. Once the glaze has been fired and cooled, it forms a protective barrier over the pottery that keeps moisture from seeping in. This means that you can safely fill the pottery with liquids without worrying about them seeping through.

This makes the pottery much more versatile and can be used for decorative purposes as well as practical applications. Not only will the glaze make the pottery waterproof, but it will also help to protect it from any environmental conditions such as dust or humidity.

Make The Pottery More Durable

One of the most important benefits of using a glaze on pottery is that it can help to make it more durable and long-lasting. Glazing helps to protect the clay body from wear and tear, as well as making it more resistant to cracking, chipping, and scratches.

In addition, glazes are often made with different materials and can even be mixed with other materials such as glass to create even more durable pottery. This means that your pottery will have a longer lifespan than if you just used the bare clay body. The glaze also helps to prevent water from seeping into the clay body, further helping to increase its longevity.


The glaze on pottery serves a wide range of purposes, from protecting the pottery to making it more durable and waterproof. With its ability to also give the pottery a shiny finish, the glaze is an essential element to any piece of pottery. For these reasons, it is important to take glazing workshops when creating pottery.