Does underglaze bleed?

Underglaze bleeding refers to the phenomenon where different underglaze colors interact or spread during firing, resulting in blurred or distorted edges between colors.

Causes of Bleeding

Underglaze bleeding can occur due to factors such as:

  • Application of underglaze with excessive water content
  • Firing at high temperatures that cause colors to melt and mix
  • Using incompatible underglaze colors


To minimize or prevent underglaze bleeding:

  • Avoid over-watering underglaze before application
  • Favor firing at lower temperatures to maintain color separation
  • Use underglaze colors that are compatible and do not interact negatively

Controlled Bleeding

While unintended bleeding can be undesirable, controlled bleeding can also be used as a deliberate technique to create soft transitions and artistic effects between colors.


Understanding the causes of underglaze bleeding and employing proper application and firing techniques can help you achieve the desired color effects in your ceramics.

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