Amaco glazes are produced by Amaco: a well-known company that produces various products such as kilns, wheels, Amaco glazes, and tools. They’re a reliable brand that has been in business for a very long time and one of the things they are known for is Amaco glazes. Amaco Glazes have an assortment of options depending on what you’re desiring to have as a final result. They also have underglazes, packs and sets for classrooms, and additives to alter the properties of their Amaco glazes. These additives include gum solution, sodium silicate, suspendaid, and wax resist.
For Amaco Glazes, the main options to choose from are:
- low fire Amaco glazes,
- high fire Amaco glazes,
- and specialty Amaco glazes.
Inside of each grouping, there are multiple options to go with and we will be breaking them down and explaining the Amaco Glazes in this article.
Low Fire Amaco Glazes
Artist’s Choice is the same as Potter’s Choice, but is formulated for cone 05 oxidation instead of cone 5 to 6 oxidation. Their main purpose is to achieve high fired reduction looks in a low fire oxidation kiln. This line fires best over a dark or red low fire clay, but other low fire clays will work as well. In textured areas, the clay will partially show through to create completely different looks depending on the clay body. This Amaco glaze line can be mixed for different results with itself and the Opalescent line.
This Amaco Glaze line focuses on bright, glossy colors with speckles of glaze crystal bursts. The spontaneous color patterns make every piece unique. This Amaco glaze line fires to cone 05. The line can work for creating work similar to crystalline glazes without the complicated firing process.
This is a classic series that was originally created in 1950 and is completely lead-free. These Amaco glazes are semi-opaque and come out with a high gloss. The F-Series is said to have more intense and brilliant colors than other series and is best suited for dinnerware as well as all pottery made with Amaco clay.
Low fire gloss fires to a smooth, glossy finish at cone 05. Amaco recommends firing slowly to ensure the best results and warns that these Amaco glazes flow slightly during firing. The benefit of this is that it corrects most glaze applications, but it is best to be careful about possible run offs in the kiln when using this Amaco glaze.
This low fire matt focuses on a bright and lively color palette with a satin smooth finish. The greatest benefit of this series of Amaco Glazes, is that it does not move at all, which is beneficial for certain pottery designs such as sculptural work and design work.
This series works on its own or over other series to create glaze flow over textured work. It works to flow thinly on reliefs and thick in recessed areas, which is beneficial for added dimension on the work. Amaco recommends using their Sedona Red Clay to create unique textures with this glaze.
This series is suited for creating vintage and weathered variations with a matte glaze. They are smooth and similar to stone in texture. An important note of this Amaco glaze is that it flows a little in the firing and will settle in crevices and follow gravity down a vertical piece. Amaco recommends taking care to taper the glaze application near the bottom to avoid potential glaze run off at the bottom of a piece.
This Amaco glaze is primarily used to create unique variations that cannot be replicated. Amaco states that no two pieces are alike due to the many variations in texture which occur during the firing. If you’re wanting truly unique pieces at cone 05, then this could be the glaze you're looking for.
These two series, Teacher’s Palette & Teacher’s Choice, are completely inter-mixable and allow for a tremendous palette. These Amaco glazes are AP certified, lead-free, and are safe for use by artists of any age. If you’re wanting a majolica-style piece then these glazes might be what you’re looking for. These colors fire true to the bottles and can be brushed and slip trailed on top of each other without any glaze interaction or bleeding, which is ideal for classrooms.
High Fire Amaco Glazes
This series focuses on achieving reduction looks in a cone 5 to 6 oxidation kiln. This is especially nice for potters who cannot afford a reduction kiln, but want the beautiful palette that is achieved in that firing type. There are a tremendous amount of color options in this series and you are able to combine them with other colors in the Potter’s Choice series along with other series in the high fire glazes as well.
The Amaco Celadon Glaze series focuses on achieving a translucent glaze that breaks nicely over texture and carvings. There are an assortment of colors in this series which all pool beautifully to add vivid accents to designs. They are all mixable for finding the right color and can also be combined with the Potter’s Choice line as well for more unique colors.
The Amaco Sahara Glaze series is designed to match porcelain and stoneware bodies nicely. This is nice for certain clays that might have a hard time with the glaze fitting them properly. If you notice a lot of thin cracks on your glaze that shouldn’t be there, experimenting with this glaze line might fix that problem. There are an assortment of colors that are in this line and different glaze options such as matt, textured, gloss, and transparent.
If you’re wanting to achieve bright opaque colors that can rival the intensity of lowfire earthenware glazes then this line is for you. There are an assortment of bright colors that fire to a midrange temperature at cone 5. This series also allows combining Amaco glazes to achieve even more colors and textures for your glaze palette as well.
This line focuses on achieving beautiful colors with a soft satin feel. They fire to cone 5/6 and are 100% mixable. You can use clear satin to lighten your colors, satin black to create shades, and satin white to create tints. This allows a huge variety when it comes to satin colors, with the only exceptions being orange and red since they have a different base than the other colors.
The Shino line focuses on achieving a high-iron look to any clay that is able to be high fired. This glaze works well with both textured or smooth clays, and offers a variety of both matte and glossy options. This line can also be blended to change the level of matte or gloss on your surface.
Specialty Amaco Glazes
This is a special effect that focuses on adding crystals into a wet glaze to transform it into a Crystaltex glaze. With this Amaco glaze line, you are able to add one or more colors to a base glaze, but it can only be added when the glaze is wet. Amaco recommends that the glazes used with this are matured at cone 05, but says that they can be used at any temperatures.
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This is a special effect that focuses on washes of oxides to produce earthy, yet vibrant additions to any piece. You can use the color right out of the bottle to achieve a dark color, or they can be diluted to create a softer appearance similar to watercolors. Amaco says that the oxide washes can be applied under or over any glaze from cone 06 to 11 and that it is possible to apply onto the clay with no glaze as well.
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This is a specialty glaze that can only be used in a raku firing. These glazes create lustrous, dramatic, and vibrant effects when properly used in a raku firing.
Focuses on changing the glaze effects of the base glaze. There are two different versions depending on if you are doing a high fire or a low fire. Depending on what base glaze you are using (gloss, matte, textured), you can achieve widely different results which increase the glaze palette significantly.
Amaco Glazes: Conclusion
As you can see, there are so many different choices that Amaco provides to potters when it comes to Amaco glazes. Hopefully, this article will help you decide with what series is best suited to your work and also assist choosing from the different Amaco Glaze colors available in that series to make your work shine brilliantly.