Glaze Theory and Practice course



Two stages over two years; 150 hours per stage. Can be completed in a shorter timeframe if necessary.

Online delivery; you will require access to a PC, the internet and a mid-high fire ceramic kiln

Start 1st Semester / 2nd Semester intakes
  • Location
    Study breaks
  • Distance
    22 February 2021
  • Distance
    19 July 2021
Study the impact of heat on individual or collections of materials used in the production of ceramic glazes.

Studio ceramic practitioners are challenged with a need to find an appropriate finishing process for their work. This inevitably means the application of a glaze or glazes. These glazes start their life as collections of materials either dug from the earth’s surface or refined in industrial processes. They are applied as powder to the surface of clay objects then fired in a kiln to temperatures up to 1300deg.C.
This course unveils the secrets of what happens during the transformational process of firing. The study of the simple chemistry of materials and the impact of heat opens up possibilities of manipulation and control leading ultimately to the design of glazes for specific needs.

Entry requirements
  • Open entry but you must have access to a PC, the internet and a mid-high fire ceramic kiln.  
You will study 

During the first stage, the emphasis is on the basic chemistry of raw materials and their firing. The second stage focuses on patterns in the chemistry of well-known historical glaze types and you will also have an opportunity to research finishing processes which interest you. Upon successful completion of the course, you will receive a Certificate of Achievement. 


Lawrence Ewing has been engaged in ceramics for over 40 years. In 1986, he became a staff member at the Dunedin School of Art where he was appointed to teach all aspects of ceramics full-time.

In the early stage of his time at Otago Polytechnic, Lawrence became interested in glaze technology. He designed and implemented a computer programme called "Matrix", which was initially aimed at assisting ceramics students in their glaze work. Over the last 20 years this software has grown to become one of the leading glaze software packages in the world. It is now used by individual potters and schools internationally.

Lawrence is also a Life Member of NZ Potters (Inc.) and has been the web manager for for many years. He is highly-respected internationally in the field of glaze technology and continues to develop the Matrix software which continues to be used as a teaching tool in the glaze courses for which he is responsible.

For more information

Please email or phone 0800 762 786 (domestic) or +64 3 477 3014 (international). 


While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative ONLY. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.

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