Big Ceramic Store Blog

How To Fuse Bisque Ware Together With Glaze

How many times have you opened the kiln, after a bisque fire, and found broken wares? I don't know about you, but for me, it has happened a few times. One particular piece comes to mind.

I had made a large platter for my daughter, in North Carolina, and we were planning a visit in less than two weeks. Hoping to take it along, I rushed the firing process. Needless to say, the bottom ruptured, and I thought it was a total loss.

The piece itself, was beautiful, and I had put a lot of time into hand painting blue crabs with cobalt oxide.While looking at the four large pieces and a bunch of little shards, I wondered if there was any possible way to save it. I knew that with my daughter being an artist as well, she would appreciate something a little "out of the box".

Taking the larger pieces, I started to arrange them in different overlapping patterns. Knowing that a mending agent was out of the question, I figured the only thing to try, was to fusing the pieces together with glaze.

After deciding on a layout, I dipped the pieces in a clear glaze, and proceeded to arrange them on a series of stilts on the kiln shelf. I placed the shelf in the kiln and loaded the rest of my glazed pieces. Closing the lid, I crossed my fingers, and prayed I hadn't made a mistake.

Excitement, anxiety and optimism were a few of the emotions swirling around in my head when I opened the lid. I practically jumped up and down, when I got to the bottom shelf and pulled out the platter! It was amazing, and I was glad I took the chance.

crab platter

Attached to a piece of old barn wood, with a little fish netting for aesthetics, it looks great hanging on her beach themed wall!

Here are some additional ideas for using broken bisque pieces:

  • When making bird houses and other pieces with a "roof" that lifts off after the bisque fire, try putting glaze on both pieces and fire them the way you want them to come out.
  • Try fusing handles on pitchers. For example, I had a handle 3/4 crack at the top, so I pulled it off, sanded the rough spots and made a new handle. I split the top,  allowed for shrinkage, and shaped it to the body of the pitcher. After it was bisque fired, I added glaze to both pieces and hung the handle over the rim.
    Place something flexible
    in the opening to hold the shape while it dries
  • Glaze broken ware and use it in the garden as a backdrop for flowers or decoration.

Maybe you've done something unique with one of your broken pieces? Please share your creative use in the comments.

Have an idea or project you'd like to share with others? Contact us at  bcscommunity@bigceramicstore.com

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