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Incorporating Stoneware Into Your Studio

One thing that sets your studio apart from other creative outlets in your community is your kiln. The magic of the firing is completely unique! Stoneware provides a new fired art option for your studio which allows you to diversify your product offerings and keep the magic of the kiln alive in your customers’ minds.

Why Stoneware?

  • Durable & Versatile – Oven, microwave, freezer and dishwasher safe
  • High-fire look, high perceived value
  • Beautiful white clay body that is manufactured in the USA
  • Pre-made shapes that let you get to the fun of decorating
  • Variety of decorating options – simple to detailed
  • Compatible with Mayco Stroke & Coat due to this glaze line’s broad firing temperature. 

Mayco Stoneware Bisque ranges from mugs and dinnerware to serving pieces and home décor. The bisque is soft-fired to cone 04/03 which makes them user-friendly during glaze application, layering and firing. Mayco Stoneware has been formulated to not only Stoneware glazes, but also Stroke & Coat. How perfect since you have that in your studio! To see how Stroke & Coat colors will fire at Cone 6, check the label on the bottle to see how the color changes, if at all. 

Mayco Stoneware Glazes are available in a wide range of colors, textures and opacities including: gloss, matte, variegated matte, ice, opals, wash and crystals. You can also add our light or dark Flux for even more color variation. 

In addition to the array of colors and finishes in Stoneware glazes, you can also create detailed designs with Mayco Creative Tools (silkscreens, mats, stamps & stencils) then cover with Stoneware Clear.  Designer Liner may be applied with a brush or with the writer tip onto Stoneware. 

Since Mayco Stoneware is soft-fired, the pieces are more delicate before firing than earthenware. However, they are more durable than earthenware when glaze fired to cone 6. Following are tips on how to store and glaze our Stoneware Bisque.

Stoneware Tips

  • When unpacking, wipe the piece with a damp sponge to ensure there are no hairline cracks.
  • Stack Stoneware Bisque no more than two high to avoid heavy stress. 
  • We suggest placing paper between stacked bowls.
  • Any bisque that does not have a tapered shape should not be stacked. 
  • The benefit of using Stoneware is the functionality it provides. It is oven, microwave, freezer and dishwasher safe. 
  • Place Stoneware in a cold oven and let them heat up together. Stoneware can be removed from a hot oven.
  • Avoid drastic fluctuations in temperature (freezer to oven, oven to freezer) to prevent thermal shock.
  • Longer turnaround time (10 days v week – let customers know ahead of time since they may have painted earthenware previously and anticipate the same turnaround time)

Tips for Glazing Stoneware

  • Stoneware Glazes are “directional”. Apply glaze in the same direction with each coat. 
  • Remember that Stoneware glazes move during firing, particularly on vertical shapes.
  • Only use a mid-range clear glaze on Stoneware such as SW-001 Stoneware Clear, SW-002 Matte Clear, SW-004 Zinc Free Clear, and SW-003 Crackle Clear (not for food surfaces due to surface texture).
  • Since mid-range glazes shift during firing, it is best to apply Designer Liner and Silkscreens directly onto the bisque instead of on top of a Stoneware Glaze. 
  • Apply a transparent or semi-transparent glaze (Stoneware Ice / Opals) over the designs. 
  • Mayco’s low-fire products show the mid-range firing results on each label.
  • When using Stroke & Coat at mid-range, apply two coats instead of three for best results.
  • Before firing, use a damp sponge to remove glaze from the foot of the piece. If the glaze is on the bottom of the piece, it will stick to the kiln shelf. 

Firing Tips

  • Bisque shrinks 10% during firing.
  • Dry foot Stoneware on a kiln washed shelf.
  • Fire to Cone 6
  • Do not stilt. Since the bisque is soft-fired the stilt may embed in the Stoneware when fired.
  • Fully support Stoneware Bisque during firing. Place piece on one shelf instead of extending over the edge of a kiln shelf or onto another shelf.
  • Direct mug handles toward the center of the kiln.


Keeping your Stoneware pieces separate from your earthenware is a good idea to ensure they are fired to the proper temperature (cone 6). Place Stoneware in a separate area or on a separate shelf in your kiln room or place a colored slip of paper with the Stoneware shapes to keep them separate. You may also want to consider having a set day for cone 6 firings so the pieces will be ready in a timely manner


Be sure that your employees are properly trained on working with stoneware so that they are comfortable with the process; this makes your customers comfortable. Essentially, stoneware can be decorated with the same techniques as earthenware, but you get the additional option of using Stoneware Glazes to create dramatic looks. Following are a few tips to get customers started with Stoneware in your studio.

Hold workshops to build interest in Stoneware. This controls the learning process so customers learn the proper way to glaze. This also can create demand for the product since you can take a special class. 

Create a variety of samples that feature both low-fire and mid-range glazes to inspire customers. As you talk about the products and options, customers will be able to see what you’re talking about. Customers like the idea of decorating shapes in a way that makes them look like “real” pottery, in addition to realizing that they can use the techniques that you have already taught them.

Creating a series of workshops that feature different techniques, shapes or glazes will allow your customers to explore Stoneware in a fun, but educational way. Classes could feature: 

  • Traditional Stoneware Glazes (earthy colors)
  • Vivid colors or Pastels with Flux
  • Stoneware Crystals
  • Detailed designs with Stroke & Coat and Designer Liner
  • Create a specific design for the group using Creative Tools
  • Feature a different type of shape in each class: Session 1 – Mugs, Session 2 – Serving Pieces, etc. 

Invest some time into experimenting with Stoneware so you’ll be ready to share this outstanding fired art in your studio. Your customers will love the opportunity to work with a diverse new product and you’ll enjoy the new revenue stream – all while “keeping it in the kiln!”


bunch of stoneware steins lr 
sw and sc tumblerslavender mist stein
stoneware steinfrosted lemon stein





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