I have began my journey into making my own glazes! Have quite a few materials, but still have a lot more to go! Wish me luck (I am going to need it)

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Comment by Amanda Sullivan on June 15, 2013 at 8:23pm

Yes I have, That is where I get most of my supplies. Just having trouble working on making my own glazes...

Comment by Brent Farler on June 9, 2013 at 4:57am

hope you have found Trinity Ceramics down by I-35 and Regal Row warehouse district.  No point shipping this stuff to sherman when you can drive down in 1 hour.

Comment by Norm Stuart on May 26, 2013 at 7:42pm

You need to locate the largest volume supplier of ceramic supplies in your local area.

We're fortunate in being located within 35 miles of Laguna Clay in the City of Industry so truck delivery is $30 when we order 1,000 pounds or more of clay or related material.  Their Axner subsidiary in Orlando Florida charges more for a 2,000 pound minimum when delivering to Miami.

A 50 pound bag of Silica can cost as little as $5, but it will cost $50 to ship one bag via UPS Ground.

This is why Laguna has three lists of clay: Western; Northeastern; and Southeastern. If we actually wanted a clay made by Laguna Clay in Florida or Ohio there's a higher cost, but it can be far cheaper than shipping from their eastern factory by UPS, because Laguna ships train car loads, and has a steady stream of the largest trucks I've ever seen, but it does cost more.

Here's the distribution network for Laguna. http://www.lagunaclay.com/distributors/

There are also wholesale suppliers like Hammill & Gillespie which distribute a selection of mined products, like Spanish Iron Oxide from Prominfer in Spain. It could be possible some of these supplies are cheaper in your area from a Hammill & Gillespie than from a Laguna, but they may have purchase minimums.


Laguna doesn't sell Bayferrox synthetic iron oxide so I get to pay for UPS shipping from Pittsburgh from the cheapest supplier I could find - one who in turn sells Bayferrox to many other ceramic retailers.

One other example, Custer Feldspar is mined in Custer South Dakota. At retail, one ton of Custer Feldspar, a pallet of 40 fifty-pound bags, costs $0.23 per pound in Chicago at Great Lakes Clay or $0.35 per pound for one bag. This fifty-pound bag which costs $17.50 in Chicago costs us $20.50, 17% more at Laguna. But Laguna's prices are far lower on items mined in or near California.

Clearly shipping is a significant cost, but when shipped in volume it's not as significant as the volume discount offered on that product.

Comment by Amanda Sullivan on May 26, 2013 at 6:29pm

Thanks for all the useful information! I still have quite a ways to go until I am able to fully make my own glazes (until them I am storing them under a tarp in the garage) I can only buy so much at a time and I need to figure out what materials I really need before I buy some again.  So laguna will deliver anywhere for that rate or is that only because you are so close??  Yes I really need to figure out a good place to keep all of my materials. I have my kiln at one house and my wheel and "studio" (which really is nothing but my wheel and supplies lol) at my house. I have very limited space!  What kind of containers do you keep your materials in?

Comment by Norm Stuart on May 26, 2013 at 1:30pm

I find life easier keeping all of the glaze material with free silica segregated onto a couple of pallets covered with tarps requiring a respirator to access - silica, talc, bentonite, some feldspars and even kaolins if you're really particular. Being outdoors makes it easy to control the dust around these pallets with a hose. The danger is the airborne silica you can't see.

This lets us access the majority of our glaze materials without a respirator.

As you've discovered, most glaze materials are surprisingly economical, ranging from $10 to $30 for each fifty pound bag, with significant volume discounts for whole bags reducing the price by 50% to 90%. Fifty pound bags of glaze material start to get a little more expensive around spodumene, strontium carbonate, manganese dioxide (due to the popularity of gold glaze) and spanish iron oxide at $45, with man-made frits ranging up to $100 for a fifty pound bag.

The only large volume items topping $100 for a fifty pound bag are magnesium carbonate $160, bone ash $201, and Ferro Frit 3249 containing magnesium at $212. Laguna Clay delivers all of these bags along with our clay in Los Angeles for one flat $30 delivery fee.

The remainder of glaze ingredients have minimal volume discounts and are more expensive so we buy in smaller ten pound or one pound quantities: rutile; zinc oxide; titanium; imported specialty supplies; lithium carbonate or lithium fluoride; tin oxide; colorant oxides and mason stains.

The result is most glazes cost $0.30 to $0.75 a pound, plus the cost of colorants - which range from nothing for a clear up to the overwhelming majority of the glaze cost.

This is 2/3 less costly than a dry mix and 80% or 90% less than a pint of prepared glaze.

A relatively costly example is our Cream Breaking Rust recipe which costs $0.67 per pound for the base glaze with $3.36 of colorant oxides for a total of $4.03 per pound.

$4.03   100.0%       Cream Breaking Rust  ^5 to 8
$0.40     30.7%        Ferro Frit 3134
$0.09     26.6%        Custer Feldspar
$0.05     18.1%        Silica
$0.04     10.6%        Wollastonite
$0.03       8.4%        Kaolin
$0.05       3.3%        Strontium Carbonate
$0.01       2.3%        Talc

$3.11    13.0%        Tin Oxide
$0.25      6.0%        Red Iron Oxide

For comparison, the most costly glaze in "Mastering Cone 6 Glazes" using 50 pound bag pricing is $1.46 per pound for Variegated Slate Blue, using cobalt, copper and rutile. Only their Raspberry recipe is more costly at $2.07 a pound due to the 7.5% tin oxide used. . . . But I do like tin.

Cream Breaking Rust with 13% Tin Oxide

In total our glaze material fills seven large pallets, so you do need some place to put it all.

Comment by Amanda Sullivan on May 26, 2013 at 7:33am

Dont talk yourself out of it!! I was told to just go for it! Heck I didn't even know if I will need some of these materials but they are so cheap to buy in bulk, I couldn't resist! Luckily I will be needing all of these! Before I go out and buy a bunch next time I will be looking up exactly what I need lol! I was REALLY surprised at the price (around $200) for all of that plus some bentonite and alumina hydrate.  Luckily I already have a scale, just need more materials. It will still be a while before I can start mixing. And I will DEFINITELY be wearing a mask! Thanks!!

Comment by scott kelly on May 25, 2013 at 1:27pm

Oh nice, I was going to go pick up about the same amount today and I talked myself out pf it. I'm still working om my glaze list. I think you will do well. I got my new scale last week. Ready to go in that area. Be sure and wear a mask : )


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