Advancing Glazes





Dates: January 31 - April 18 (12 classes) ceramic material in scale for use in mixing a glaze
Days/Times: Mondays, 6:30pm – 9:30pm**
Level: Intermediate - Advanced
Instructor: Matthew Katz/Casey Zeng  

Course Description: 

This course is the next step after Glaze and Clay Body Chemistry and is led by Alfred University instructor Matthew Katz, facilitated by Ceramics Program staff member Casey Zeng. Advancing Glazes will take an intensive approach to the study and analysis of glazes. Students will research the nature of glaze effects, surfaces, and colors. The focus of the

course is to provide students with technical and empirical knowledge about the composition, application and fired effects of ceramic glazes and ultimately, to aid them in making better-informed decisions as they strive to realize their vision.

The ceramic artist strives to create glaze surfaces that, as a component of concept and content, enhance form through texture and color. The beauty of ceramic glazes comes from subtle nuances of chemistry. The intermingling of silicate bonds, crystallization, and kiln atmospheres dictate the qualities of the glaze. A fundamental understanding of the principles and properties involved in glaze science is essential if the ceramic artist can exert any control in the successful outcome of the work.

Topics will include: Introduction to Special Effect Glazes and Colors, The Subtitles of Glaze Calculation, Fluxes and Performance, Thermal Expansion, Glaze Durability, Cone 6 and Cone 04, Celadon, Zinc, & Phase Separation, Iron, Fake Ash, Shino, & Carbon Trap, Lava, Fake Metallic, Raku & Atmosphere, Nature and Function of Color and Colorants.

**The class will be a combination of on-demand, video lectures, live online discussions, and real-world experimentation. The information will be provided through online lectures that students can view in class as well as review outside of class. There will be live, online discussions with the instructor scheduled throughout. Knowledge of PowerPoint and use of a personal laptop with PowerPoint and Excel is highly recommended. This class does not come with lab access outside of making test tiles and accessing the Materials Room for Glaze Mixing.

Note: This course requires the prerequisite of Understanding Glazes/Introduction to Glazes/Glaze Calculation from Ceramic Materials Workshop/Matt Katz or Glaze and Clay Materials at the Harvard Ceramics Program. Even if you are an exceptionally experienced artist, the previous course is foundational for this course. To enroll in that course instead visit this link and you can sign up for the lectures.

Note: Class will be held on Monday, February 21 (Presidents' Day)

Materials List:

Materials if you are mixing at the Ceramics Program:

32 oz. clear container with lid (available for purchase at Ceramics Program)
Mask N95 or the equivalent for particulates
Black Underglaze Pencil – Amaco or fine brush and black underglaze
Hand held immersion blender (suggested)
Test Tiles (available at Ceramics Program)

Tool Purchases:
Here is the list of available tools and materials at the Ceramics Program. You may also consider ordering from a local supplier (Sheffield Pottery, Amherst Pottery Supply or Portland Pottery). If you have questions, please email Ji-Eun Kim directly at

Course Fees: Your course fees will include clay for test tiles, access to all raw glaze materials for mixing, firing of all tests and 7-day access to the Materials Room to complete course projects. This class does not come with studio lab access outside of making test tiles and accessing the Materials Room for glaze mixing.

If you are interested in studio access beyond access to the Material Room for course projects, please email Ji Eun Kim at

$125 for Harvard College Undergraduate Students; $400 for Harvard Graduate Students; $660 for Adult Community; Harvard Employee TAP Regular and Long Service - follow instructions in online registration system for pricing.

  • Adult Community: 18+; General Public; Harvard alumni, fellows, Extension School students, Harvard University Doctoral Candidates and faculty/staff who are not TAP-eligible; students from universities other than Harvard
  • Harvard Employees eligible for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP): TAP regular (employees worked less than 15 years) and TAP long service (employees who worked 15 or more years at Harvard)
  • Harvard College Undergraduate Students: Currently enrolled students at Harvard College. This does not include Harvard Extension School Undergraduate Students. You must register with your Harvard email – we can arrange for an alternative email to be used for class after registration is complete.
  • Harvard Graduate Students: Currently enrolled students in a Harvard University Graduate Program. This does not include Harvard Extension School Graduate Students or Harvard University Doctoral Candidates.

Registration will begin on Tuesday, November 16th at 2:00PM EST.

All registered students will receive a confirmation with class syllabus one week prior to the start date.


  • For questions regarding course content, policies, staffing or facilities, please contact Director, Kathy King.
  • For questions regarding registration, purchase of tools and materials, please contact Administrative Coordinator, Ji-Eun Kim.
  • For questions regarding electric kiln certification, materials, studio equipment and safety policies, please contact Operations Coordinator, Geoff Booras at