Colored glaze for architectural ceramics

Creating own recipes for glaze by experimenting with resources followed by the production of individual samples.

Architectural ceramics is one of the oldest building materials. The seminar explores the creative potential of coloured glaze for ceramics and their utilisation both in the interior and the exterior space.

Due to the coating with glaze, architectural ceramics differ significantly from all other building materials. Glaze can show an infinite number of colour shades and textures which endures due to its resistance to light. Thus, architectural ceramics are particularly suitable for covering facades as well as indoor design. During the economic zenith of architectural ceramics each stove factory had developed its very own and unique recipes most of which got lost due to the industrial revolution. Current industrial glazes are reduced to the homogeneous palettes of very few producers

That is where the seminar sets in. Glaze recipes will be designed that contradict the monotonous colour palette of the industry and which reintroduce diversity into the process. With this approach the workshop makes uniqueness its central theme. To give insight into the materiality of glaze, the seminar starts off with introductory lectures on chemical and architectural views. In context of a series of experiments students will research the natural resources for characteristics of imperfection or singularity. The discovered substances are evaluated based on their potential for colour and texture with the objective to reintroduce chance and uncertainty. Various design concepts will be developed on the basis of the identified natural resources and their characteristics in interdisciplinary teams (students of architecture, design and geochemistry). Each team will create own ideas for recipes using design as well as chemical knowledge. The recipes will be practically examined in a series of firing tests. The newly designed recipes will be precisely documented, prepared and applied on samples. Students learn how application techniques can impact the final outcome of the product. In a number of firings at the oven the formulas are tested and further refined since the process of firing is an essential yet unpredictable part of vitrifying the natural resources into glaze.

At the end of the seminar each group will have developed an approach on colouring architectural ceramics. A variety of distinct samples will have been produced that illustrate the story and process of each experimental series. In a concluding exhibition not only the final pieces will be shown but the whole series will be exhibited. The seminar sets on a particular sensitisation for the design potential of surface finishing for architectural ceramics and therefore building materials in general.


Students from the 5th semester. Study programs: Architecture, Art and Design (Weimar), Geotechnology, (Applied) Geosciences, Mineralogy, Materials/Materials Science.

Franziska Käuferle born 1986 in Aichach, Germany

2018 - Worked in the family's own architectural practice

2013 - 2017 Collaboration with Bruno Fioretti Marquez Architects in Berlin

2014 - 2017 Master of Architecture at the Technical University of Berlin

2009 - 2013 Bachelor of Architecture at the Technical University of Munich and Artesis Antwerp


Stefano D’Elia born 1981 in Venice, Italy

2018 Foundation Stefano D’Elia Architecture in Brunico, Italy

2016 - 2018 Collaboration with EM2 Architecture in Brunico, Italy

2012 - 2016 Collaboration with Bruno Fioretti Marquez in Berlin

2008 - 2011 Master of Architecture at the IUAV University of Venice

2010 Study abroad at the UAL University of Lisbon

2005 - 2008 Bachelor of Architecture at the IUAV University of Venice

The course took place in 2022.