Do you wax after glaze?

Wax plays a significant role in ceramics, especially when it comes to glazing and creating intricate designs on pottery. While wax resist techniques are commonly used before glazing, the question arises: can you apply wax after glazing? Let’s explore the potential applications and benefits of waxing after glazing.

Wax Resist Techniques

Wax is often used as a resist material to prevent glaze from adhering to specific areas of pottery. This allows artists to create beautiful layered effects by applying wax to bisque-fired pottery, followed by glaze application. When fired, the wax burns away, leaving the protected areas unglazed.

Waxing After Glazing

Applying wax after glazing, while less common, can also be used to achieve specific effects:

  • Texturing: Applying wax to glazed surfaces before a second firing can create textured patterns as the wax melts and flows during firing.
  • Protection: Wax can be applied over certain glaze areas to protect them from additional glaze layers or special treatments.
  • Decoration: Wax can be used to draw or paint designs on glazed pottery before a final firing, adding intricate details.

Considerations and Techniques

When waxing after glazing:

  • Use low-temperature wax to avoid interfering with glaze properties during firing.
  • Apply wax carefully, as it may not adhere as well to glazed surfaces as it does to bisque-fired clay.
  • Experiment with different waxing techniques to achieve the desired visual effects.


While wax resist techniques are traditionally applied before glazing, wax can also be used creatively after glazing to achieve unique textures, protect specific areas, or add detailed decoration. By understanding the properties of wax and experimenting with various techniques, ceramic artists can unlock new possibilities for enhancing their pottery creations.

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