I achieved an HND in Industrial Ceramics by the time I left education.
I can make pots and moulds in all kind of ways, but the one thing we were never taught was glaze technology, we were just given vats of the stuff and taught how to dip.
Glaze technology is hard and complicated (or is that just for me?). I got really frustrated with having to buy bottles or powders that I couldn’t control. So I bought myself a book and with the advice of a much more knowledgeable potter, started on the journey to produce a perfect smooth white base glaze.
It took about a year, a lot of firing, a few tears, and wrecked some kiln shelves, but that knowledge is my most valuable ceramic asset (and i love it).
Your own perfect bases can be adjusted to anything you like – gloss, satin, matte, running, textured, any colour the oxides can give you (apart from red and yellow, we’re all still working on that). You’re no longer constricted by the inventions of others, it opens up a whole new world of creativity that you alone control.