Can you fire wet glaze?

Glazing is a crucial step in the ceramics process, involving the application of a liquid glaze to the surface of pottery before firing. But what happens if you try to fire glaze that is still wet? Let’s explore the impact of firing wet glaze and whether it’s a viable option.

The Dangers of Firing Wet Glaze

Firing wet glaze is generally not recommended due to the significant risks involved. As the kiln heats up during firing, the water in the glaze begins to evaporate rapidly. This can result in steam buildup, which creates pressure within the glaze layer. The pressure can lead to bubbling, cracking, and even explosions as the steam tries to escape.

Preventing Glaze Defects

To achieve successful glaze results, it’s essential to apply glaze to bone-dry or leather-hard pottery. This allows the glaze to adhere properly and ensures that any moisture has already evaporated from the clay. Applying glaze to dry pottery also helps prevent the formation of cracks or blisters during firing.

Proper Glaze Application

For best results, follow these steps when glazing:

  • Ensure the pottery is completely dry before applying glaze.
  • Apply glaze evenly using brushes, sprayers, or dipping techniques.
  • Allow the glazed pottery to air dry before loading it into the kiln.
  • Follow recommended firing schedules to achieve the desired glaze effects.


Attempting to fire wet glaze can lead to disappointing and potentially dangerous outcomes. Proper glaze application to dry or leather-hard pottery is essential for achieving the desired results and avoiding defects. By following established glazing practices, ceramic artists can create beautiful, functional, and safe pottery pieces.

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