Secrets of
Natural Glazes

7 day workshop with Lou Smedts
June 17th – June 23rd in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Secrets of Natural Glazes

Making your own glazes from materials available in your direct surroundings is many potters dream. Knowing the glazes means understanding the materials being used in ceramic recipes. It is important to know each materials characteristics, how it behaves on its own and more importantly - what each material contributes to a recipe – its secrets.

Making a decision to be independent from commercial materials and glazes that everyone else is using is not only a step towards being more unique, but also a step towards the nature. It can be a long and difficult process, where the main learning tool is trial and failure.

The realm of natural glazes offers infinite possibilities, this 7 days program introduces most typical materials available in your area, in a step by step process. It is not so important to start at the beginning; you can throw yourself into local geology and flora and start exploring possibilities of each material you discover on the way and learn ways of applications onto or into your ceramics.

Learning about nature around you is always worth it; the most profound beauty can only be found in nature. Beauty that is rich with material, one that no other commercial glaze can offer.

Intense 7 day hands-on workshop with Lou Smedts is about knowing and understanding glazes made of natural materials.

Workshop content

Synopsis: introduction to local natural environment and possible materials for ceramic application

Theoretical learning and knowing a selection of natural materials

Preparing bases for test samples

Preparing materials and combinations


Testing glazes in electric kiln

Testing glazes in wood fire kiln – wood firing

Tests round table

Target Audience

Beginners, intermediate and advanced ceramists.


English with translation to Slovenian.


Day 1

Morning: Throwing / pinching / slab building small pots for raw glazing and bisque glazing.

Afternoon: Gathering materials & scaning the environment for possible ingredients.

Day 2

Morning: Depending on the harvest from the first day and the number of participants, harvesting additional materials and following with a short intro into materials - short seminar - theoretical part. After seminar follows making compositions and combinations with the ingredients to obtain glazes.

Afternoon: Calcinating of chosen ingredients that need this in a small kiln.

Day 3

Morning: Kiln opening and collecting calcinated ingredients; calcinating more if needed.

Afternoon: Start of making of 3 base recipes for raw glazing. Mixing all together and sifting half, half is to be left natural. Leaving glazes to rest for 12 hours to homogenise.

Day 4

Morning: Preparing and mixing together the raw glazes and glazing.

Afternoon: Preparing of 3 base recipes for the application of glazes on bisque pots. Mixing them and leaving them for 12 hours to rest and homogenise. Firing small test pots to bisque temperatures.

Day 5

Morning: Preparing and mixing glazes and glazing.

Afternoon: Kiln loading. One part in wood kiln – one part in electric kiln. Starting small fire in wood kiln to dry the pots and the glazes. Leaving the fire burning through the night. Firing the electric kiln through the night.

Day 6

All day: Firing wood kiln in shifts.

Day 7

All day: 2 kiln openings and evaluation.



50% at registration and the rest by June 17th.
No refunds possible.

Place & Date

June 17th – June 23rd


  • Tools and materials
  • Welcome and farewell dinner
  • Drinks and snacks

NOT Included

  • Accommodation
  • Are you coming from far away?
    We can offer you advice for B&B’s in the area. Inquire via e-mail.


  • Apply by filling out the form in next section.
  • Payment is 50% at registration and the rest by June 17th.
  • Your place is guaranteed after initial payment is received. No refunds possible.
  • Number of participants is limited.
  • Payment details will be sent over e-mail.

About Lou Smedts

Lou Smedts was born in Maastricht, Netherlands in 1952, currently living in Morsdorf, Germany. Art and nature has always been a big part in his life. For several years he lived as a true artist using only what he had available at his hand. He spent some time travelling too, especially in countries of the East.

While travelling he made several precious discoveries about the world and about himself; he learned about Zen Buddhism, different tea cultures and ceramics that accompanied them all. Studying Art, Philosophy and Ceramics earned him PhD degrees and for many years he was teaching as a professor.

Many of the projects he produced had a social connotation, among them raising awareness for Child Cancer Foundation. In 2005 one of his biggest projects began in Belgium, that lasted over 10 years and was hosted in 17 countries – The Chawan Expo.

He is now the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Ceramic Art Project vzw., a non-profit organisation where the goal is to guide, challenge, open doors and provide worldwide contacts for ceramist artists of every age, race, nationality and status.

Anja Slapničar, Contemporary Ceramics Studio

Functional & Handmade Ceramics, Workshops and Classes


Tržaška 36, Ljubljana - Vič, Slovenia