Workshop|Introduction to non-leaded glazing for low-temperature ceramics

For artisans, ceramicists and designers who interested in the formulation and advantages of non-leaded glazing.

Atzompa is a community traditionally known for its green-coloured ceramics. The inhabitants identify with this color and it's special brightness that comes from lead. the workshop stems from a direct request from artisans of Atzompa who were worried about the ban on leaded glazes, the health risks associated with its use and their difficulties of achieving optimal quality results when firing non-leaded glazed pieces in the traditional low-temperature kilns.

  • Non-leaded glazes prepared during the workshop.

  • EK formula, non-leaded glaze with green color. Developed by Kythzia Barrera.

  • Fernando Peguero and some finnishing touches.

  • Results of the green non-leaded glaze.

  • Results of the green non-leaded glaze. Rolando Regino Porras.

  • Catalogue of non-leaded glazes, prepared during the workshop.

  • Some surprsing resutls.

We worked with commercially accesible national materials to develop new and unique colores. The formulas we used originated from Kythzia Barrera's research in Finland. [link a proyecto]

We had the pleasure of collaborating with our friends from Barro sin Plomo/Echery Pottery and Nicolás Fabián, potter from Michoacan, who have more than 10 years of experience in non-leaded glazes and the construction of low-temperature kilns. The dialogue between artisans proved to be very fruitful.

Barro sin Plomo explained the health risks, the advantages of keeping a safe workshop and a healthy workspace. They also presented the commercial benefits of producing non-leaded pottery, and showed examples from Mexico and other parts of the world.

We included BANCUBI's teaching methods to explain the mathematics behind the formulas in a clear and accesible way. This method originated from Montessori's pedagogic techinques, and shared with us by Tere Maurer, allowed us to explain how to calculate percentages and other simple mathematic operations needed for the formulation of glazes.

  • Víctor Águila, from Barro sin Plomo, explaining the benefits of working with non-leaded glaze.

  • Toña, assitant at Taller Canela, examining a pot from Barro sin Plomo ac.

  • Preparing the glaze.

  • Preparing the glazes catalogue.

  • Glazed pieces before get fired.

  • Applying the glazes on the ceramics.

During these days we had the opportunity of experimenting systematically with many glaze formulas and ways of applying them onto the clay. This is something difficult to do for potters in every day lfe. Participants created their own catalogue. As part of the workshop, we put together and designed a simple manual with instructions on how to prepared the glazes, as well as different decoration techniques. It was hand out to all of the participants and can be downloaded for free ➝ here.

Health risks of leaded glazing.
Benefits of a healthy workspace.
Different ways of organizing a workshop.
Commercial benefits of non-leaded pottery.
Show case of lead-free artisanal communities in Mexico and abroad.
Introduction to mathematical concepts for the formulation of glazes (Bancubi).
Prepration of glazes, including Atzompa green.
Decoration techniques with glaze.


Canela workshop and Centro de las Artes de San Agustín Etla, CaSa San Agustín Etla, Oaxaca


Ana Gómez and Kythzia Barrera, Innovando
la tradición.

Victor Águila y Nicolás Fabián Fermín,
Barro sin plomo.


Santa María Atzompa's Artisans
Rolando Regino Porras
Ana María Alarzón
Claudia Martínez Alarzón
Reynaldo Aguilar
Ángel García Vázquez
Nancy López García
Rosario Lara Pérez
Alicia García Vázquez
Fernando Peguero García
Leonila Ruiz López
Rufina Ruiz López


Diego Mier y Terán, Innovando la Tradición
Adán Paredes, Innovando la tradición / Los Alacranes workshop
Claudio Jerónimo López, Innovando la tradición / Canela workshop