Five Incredible Alternative Glazes

Enjoy ceramics with a huge range of curious features and finishes with this selection of five unique, alternative glazes from around the world.

1) Metal waste

The brainchild of designer Agne Kucerenkaite, the project Ignorance is Bliss only uses pigment from waste metals to colour their ceramic tiles. Due to the composition of each metal sludge mixture, every tile is unique with delightfully decorative specks and imperfects coating the surface. Read more about it here.


2) Tree resin

Experimenting with the traditional Korean laquering technique Ott, material researcher Seok-hyeon Yoon has demonstrated its viability as a ceramic glaze. Because this glaze doesn’t need to be baked, it allows for a much simpler ceramic recycling system once the pieces are broken or discarded. Read more about it here.


3) Volcanic Ash

A collaboration between Formafantasma and Dzek spearheaded research into the potential applications of volcanic ash. The unpredictable nature of this material meant three years of research were needed before the stable, consistent glaze of their ExCinere tiles was created. Read more about it here.

excinere dzek forafantasma italian volcanic ash glazed tiles

4) Pee

Yes, you read that right, we can now glaze ceramics with pee! Sinae Kim Studio is challenging our negative preconceptions of pee and highlighting how it can be used to make some truly beautiful artworks. Naturally filled with minerals that create intriguing textures and colours, this unappealing substance actually has a lot going for it. Read more about it here.


5) Ceramic waste

Glazing ceramics with ceramic waste seems like a no-brainer, but glazes used in the production of many items makes this recycling system much more complicated. A few companies, such as Studio Mixtura and Fabrique Publique have been exploring ways to make it much more viable. Read more about them here and here.

A new post by Hanna Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, February 2022.

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