Although AMACO® Opalescent Glazes may be used on any clay, they develop their greatest opalescence and most interesting textures when applied over red clays. Most of the AMACO® Opalescent Glazes have a high gloss similar to mother-of-pearl. Best results are achieved with three or four applications of glaze. On textured ware, the glaze flows thin on relief and thick in incised areas, giving an added dimension on the surface.

The technique of utilizing a base layer of Velvet underglazes, covered with an Opalescent glaze, brings out the true beauty of the Opalescent glazes. The technique is simple yet offers some wonderful results. The process consists of making a form, which can be either vigorously and deeply carved, or very subtly carved, with a low fire clay that is bisque fired to cone 04. The bisque fired piece is covered with a single good coat of the Velvet underglaze of choice, coated with 3 coats of the Opalescent glaze and glaze fired to cone 05. It is that simple a process but the results are spectacular.

The artist needs to consider three key things in putting these combinations (which are numerous) together to which I give guidance below:

Depth and sharpness of carving: The deeper and sharper the carving, the Opalescent glaze will get thinner on the sharp edges and will pool more in the low spots. This will result in sharp and dramatic contrasts between the Velvets and the Opalescent. A softer and less abrupt carving will result in a soft more subtle transition from the Velvet to the Opalescent. Consider how deep to carve the surfaces depending on whether the surface will be vertical (pitcher) or horizontal (tile).

The artist must consider what Velvets will look good in contrast with Opalescent glaze. AMACO has 58 different Velvets that span the rainbow as far as color and shade.  We always want to show off what our extended family makes with our products.

The Opalescent glazes give very different looks and intensities of the contrasting opalescent layer. Our featured glaze, Dusty Rose, is a very pale pink rose color.  The intensity of the color is adjustable with number of coats.  Fewer coats lends a more pearly color with a hint of rose while more coats brings out stronger pink tones.

AMACO® Opalescent Glazes are supplied in liquid, ready-to-use form in pint jars. They are applied on a mature Cone 04 (1971°F, 1077°C) bisque by brushing, dipping, or pouring. On red bisque, these glazes should be applied rather heavily, and a slow rather than fast firing is best. Recommended temperature is Cone 05 (1911°F, 1044°C).

AMACO O54 Dusty Rose Regular Price: $13.50

Bracker’s Glaze of the Month Price: $10.80


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