Glaze – exploring colour in ceramics with Kyra Cane

Pottery and ceramics

Ref: S4D11307

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2 places available

About this course

Explore how glaze can enhance your ceramic work by developing an understanding of the use of colour in both low and high temperature glazes. Explore a wide range of different surface qualities and colours.

Course Description

Working with a range of matt and shiny surfaces, you will learn how to create and fire a series of tests to achieve a wide range of different colours, using simple methods that you will be able to repeat yourself. You will be able to choose particular colour ranges to explore either stains or oxides. You will also make, fire and glaze your own sets of handmade clay test pieces exploring surface qualities relevant to you.

Temperature has an amazing effect on ceramic materials and colours, and experimenting is the best way to begin to develop a language which can enhance the pieces you make. You will learn to record processes and results so that you can analyse the results which will enable you to repeat and use the most successful glazes on your work in the future.

This course is suitable for anyone who would like to develop their general understanding of glaze, colour and its application to ceramic forms. It will enable you to create a personal portfolio of coloured glaze tests with an understanding of how these can be used and applied to both thrown and handbuilt pieces of all kinds.

One of the keys to creating successful ceramic work is the relationship between the final fired surface and the forms you have made. So often, there is a mismatch between these two elements that is difficult to understand. To help you work in a more professional manner, we will unpick numerous possibilities and map out ways forward that enable you to have more confidence in finding your own range of glaze options.

- You will gain an understanding of the particular qualities of, and differences between, low temperature and high temperature glazes.

- You will gain an understanding of the potential of a range of ceramic colouring agents.

- You will develop the capacity to explore and experiment with a range of ceramic materials to produce coloured glazes and surfaces.

- You will be able to use a range of two- and three- dimensional processes and techniques to help you identify the personal characteristics you want to be able to articulate in the surface of your work in the future.

- You will develop a critical approach to the analysis of ceramic form, surface and style using a range of methods.

By the end of the course, you will have a selection of sample boards exploring a range of fired surfaces which can be used by you in the future, a technical notebook/file to support ceramic development and a visual resource from which you can develop future work.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • All glaze materials and also two tiny bowls and some test tiles made by the tutor are provided in the course fee. Large work in size and quantity may be charged extra.

What students need to bring

  • Bring with you a small collection of work you have previously made, these can be in the form of photographs but at least one actual item should be included.
  • Bring your favourite tools, a sketchbook, file with dividers, two box files, pencils, and some type of camera or tablet if you like to record activities and results using this.
  • If you wish to make thrown tests, bring your favourite throwing ribs. You will also need coloured media, but you will have the opportunity to experiment with a range before being able to purchase items from the college shop.
  • Overalls
  • Old towel
  • Plastic bucket or box with lid

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Pottery tools, pottery knife (basic pottery tools are provided for use)
  • A good selection of all art materials
  • Wood or plastic ruler
  • Natural sponge
Glazing firing: Any work left at the college for a glaze firing, must be collected within six months of the email notifying you that it is ready for collection. Alternatively you are free to take away unfired pieces for firing elsewhere. Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. You may need safety boots, if specified above.


Kyra Cane

Kyra Cane studied Ceramics at Camberwell College of Arts, she has taught and examined on numerous courses, notably Harrow Ceramics, University of Westminster. Her work is exhibited in national and international galleries. She has written a book about Making and Drawing and is currently Chair of the Craft Potters Charitable Trust.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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