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Topic: Matte vs. Glossy (Glassy) Glazes  (Read 4284 times)
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The Mythical and Magical Seahorse

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« on: June 10, 2009 08:55:16 PM »

A ceramics teacher once told our class that, generally speaking, the glassier finishes tend to be the most food safe.

Does this mean that matte glazes tend to NOT be food safe?

I bought some glaze that had been fired at 2 different temps. on the test tiles in the store. The lower temp made it matte and the higher one made it glossy. Does this mean it's less food safe when matte (fired at the lower temp)?


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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2009 05:19:23 PM »

Here are some websites that may help you choose food safe glazes:


Here's a site that seems to cater to food safe glazes:


It definately looks like the main thing you need to look at is whether or not the glaze includes lead (not food safe) and if it is porous. I'm guessing that the low-fired glaze will be very porous as compared to the high-fired glaze because it doesn't get as much of a chance to melt and fill all the teeny tiny pores. You could possibly test the glaze by rubbing some spaghetti sauce into trial glazed pieces and see if all of the sauce washes off. I think of spaghetti sauce because it "stains" easily which actually means that the sauce has entered into tiny pores and can't get washed out. Personally, I would trust the shiny pot over the non-shiny pot for my food.

Good luck on finding some safe glazes!

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« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2009 08:05:49 PM »

Thank you! I'll look at those sites...and thanks for the advice!


My blog/showcase of my crafts:  http://kimmadecrafts.blogspot.com/
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2009 01:23:44 PM »

Do not assume that shiny transparent glazes are food safe. It completely depends on which ingredients are within the glaze and there are many poisonous ones. I would not recommend doing the spagetti sauce test that tcmatteson suggests, it would be much safer to just research the ingredients that are in your glaze recipe and wether they are poisionous. Don't take chances with your health, many glaze ingredients are very toxic and carcenogenic.
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2009 06:46:46 PM »

On the jar of the glaze it states if it is food safe or not.  The only difference between matte of high gloss finishes is that one is shiny and one is not. What makes a glaze food safe or not is lead content. Most are not made with lead anymore but is is stated on the bottle, food safe or not food safe.
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2009 06:42:40 PM »

Many matte glazes are totally safe. It's only the ones made with ingredients like manganese, barium or copper that are dangerous.
Getting glazes tested isn't that hard, though. You can send a sample in to a lab and have them check it out for $10 or so.
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2010 11:04:45 PM »

If you are talking about a commercial product the food safe test has been done, but only to the intended temperature the glaze should be fired to.  Underfiring a food safe gloss glaze to make it matte does not then make the matte glaze food safe.  There are many dangerous ingredients in glazes that decompose to non-dangerous materials during the firing.  For example Strontium has to reach a specific temperature in order for it to be safe. 
Best advice is to fire to the manufacturer's intended temperature for that glaze.
crafty gurll
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2010 08:22:37 AM »

As long as the glaze states food safe and is fired to the correct temp, you should be fine.   Cheesy
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« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2010 02:33:57 PM »

As long as the glaze states food safe and is fired to the correct temp, you should be fine.   Cheesy

Def always check that a packaged glaze is food safe before using it so. When mixing your own glazes, even if they don't have known toxic ingredients in them, there is something you can do to test for leaching: take a slice of lemon and place it on a test piece that has been glaze fired. Let it sit there for a day. If when you remove the lemon there is no discoloration on the piece, it is most likely safe.
I know some matte glazes are perfectly safe for food, but by preference I don't use them because there are morfe porous that glossy, and that just logically means little teeny pores for food to get stuck and bacteria to grow. I'm just overly cautious.

"Creativity is not being afraid to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." -Scott Adams
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