Why do you put baking soda in glaze?

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a common household ingredient with a surprising application in ceramics. Ceramic artists sometimes use baking soda in glaze recipes for specific effects and characteristics.

Effects of Baking Soda in Glaze:

Baking soda can have several effects on glaze:

  • Texture: Baking soda can introduce interesting textures in glaze surfaces, creating unique patterns and visual interest.
  • Color: Depending on the glaze composition, baking soda can influence color changes, often resulting in subtle variations or shifts.
  • Gas Formation: When baking soda decomposes during firing, it releases carbon dioxide gas, which can create bubbles and voids in the glaze. This can lead to intriguing surface effects.
  • Glaze Fit: In some cases, baking soda can help adjust glaze fit, reducing the likelihood of crazing or cracking.

Usage Considerations:

It’s important to note that the use of baking soda in glaze should be approached with caution:

  • Experimentation: Due to the unpredictable nature of baking soda’s effects, ceramic artists often conduct tests on small samples before applying it to larger pieces.
  • Proportions: The amount of baking soda used in a glaze recipe should be carefully controlled to achieve the desired effects without compromising the glaze’s stability.

Baking soda can be a valuable tool for ceramic artists looking to add unique textures, colors, and surface effects to their glaze creations.

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