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Pottery/Grinding Glaze from a Plugged Hole in a Pot


I'm a beginner in this field and recently came across a problem. I'm taking a pottery class at my local arts center and the glaze on a flower pot that i made ran to the point that it plugged the hole in the bottom of the pot and stuck to the kiln shelf. There is about a one inch solid lump of glaze from the hole to the bottom. I didn't think about asking my teacher about it until i left. Is there any way to unplug the hole, like using a drill bit or something similar?


Dear Heather,

    Thank you for your recent question. Yes, you can correct the problem, but it will take some diligent work on your part as glaze is a very tough material. The perfect choice of instrument to use to rid the pot of unwanted glaze is the grinding stone. They come in various grades and can be purchased for the drill and the Dremel. Some have a flat round edge and others have a point to them. In your case, I would use a Dremel to get rid of the glaze. It will be easier to handle and less taxing on your hands as this will take some time to do. You will need to use aluminum grinding stones to complete the project.

    Examine the glaze and if it has a rise to it, on the outside of the pot, then you may want to use a bench grinder to grind off as much of the glaze as possible, without striking the pot with the stone. Once you have ground off the glaze on the bottom, begin with a round flat stone and work directly where the hole in the pot should be. Angle the Dremel the same angle you would as if it were a pencil. Hold the stone on the glaze and turn the pot counter clockwise to begin grinding a cone shape into the glaze. Once enough glaze has been removed to create a recess in the glaze, you can change stones to one with a point.

    Now, it is just a matter of grinding through the cone shaped glaze. Turn on the Dremel and insert the pointed stone into the glaze cone. Hold the Dremel vertically so the stone grinds evenly through the glaze cone. Just before the stone grinds away enough glaze that the stone can slip through the hole, you will need to change to a larger sized stone. Continue this until you have drilled almost all of the glaze away to the edges of the hole. You will want to leave some glaze on the rim of the hole and should use a very light flat grinding stone to smooth the glaze edges.

    I hope this answers your question. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me at any time. I am always at your service. Much luck to you.

Ms. Ti Phillips
Earth Stoke 'N Fire Pottery Studio and Artist Retreat


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Ti Phillips


Will answer any questions on hand building, wheel, glaze, firing. Speciality questions to include those in glaze calculation and development, firing techniques. Please do not send questions on identifying pottery. Although I would love to add this to my question topics, I have a retreat to run as well as the studio and volunteering on AllExperts, and therefore do not have the available time to research indentification and marks. Thank you for understanding.


Experience includes 30 years in pottery design and education. Have taught online and studio classes worldwide for the last 20 years. Own a pottery retreat specializing in firing techniques. Have 12 years solid experience in glaze calculation and formulation as well as problem solving in glaze chemistry. I am the first potter in the United States to have developed a complete package of pottery equipment blueprints for a studio. The blueprints include wheels, kilns, studio furniture, wedgeboards, raku kilns, slab rollers, ball mills and studio tools.

Alliance of Pottery Artists Worldwide Association

Ceramic Industry - PPP Wyndstryder Press - Pottery Journal

University of Sciences and Art's of Oklahoma, studied under Professor Jaymes Dudding.

Awards and Honors
Potter of the year with APAWA, various awards for showmanship and design.

Past/Present Clients
Available upon request.

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