Occasionally, I get requests from customers for certain of my forms to be glazed in a specific color other than the glazes of my usual palette (which is actually pretty extensive). Since I prefer to make my own glazes, this ends up being not so easy to do.

I've found that it takes lots of testing in order to create a new glaze and often can take a couple years to finally get one perfected.

That's because there are so many variables in glaze making -- from the different ingredients you use to get the surface you want (glossy, matte, satin, crystallized, textured); to get the color you want; to get the glaze to fit the pot without melting off, crazing, crawling,etc; to get the glaze to be durable enough for its intended use such as to hold water or withstand oven, dishwasher or microwave use. And, especially important, to ensure the glaze is nontoxic and doesn't leach into food or drink for my vessels designed for eating and drinking.

In addition to glaze ingredients, I need to take into consideration my firing technique and temperatures, my clay bodies, the fragility, shape, and/or thinness of the walls of my forms.

There are commercial glazes that are truly wonderful, but I prefer to make my own for reasons of cost, of knowing exactly what ingredients are contained in the glaze, so that I can control quality and availability (commercial glazes often get discontinued if they're not popular enough).

So if you're trying to match a piece of pottery with a paint chip, wallpaper, granite countertop or other color in your home design, now you know what will be involved for your ceramic artist to create the color you've set your heart upon.