Egyptian paste

The principle of a self-glazing clay originated in Ancient Egypt and now Walker Ceramics brings it to you in the form of Egyptian Paste (Product Code BA335)

Egyptian Paste has unusual properties that permit the salts to leach to the surface of the clay during drying and firing stages. When fired at low temperatures the salt fuses with the silica in the clay body to create a coloured glaze. You need only the colouring agents, a few lengths of nichrome wire, an electric kiln and your own imagination to create an endless collection of beads, buttons, scarabs, pendants and other jewellery.

Egyptian Paste is supplied in the form of white powder and with the following recipes you can create the colors you desire. The recipes are based on the use of 1 kilogram of Egyptian Paste.


  • Spread 1 kilogram of Egyptian Paste on a clean, flat non-absorbent surface.
  • Spread selected colouring agent over the paste.
  • Mix with a palette knife.
  • For glazing, take the required amount of powder and add water until a plastic dough-like consistency is reached.
  • Do not mix more mixture than required at any one time.
Amount to add to 1kg
Orange Potters Colour Stain FW5818 30 gm
Yellow Potters Colour Stain FW5401 30 gm
Blue Cobalt Carbonate BA220 10 gm
Black Manganese Dioxide BA620 30 gm
Blue/Green Copper Carbonate BA250 10 gm
Green Chrome Oxide BA180 30 gm
Red Red Iron Oxide BA490 30 gm
Grey Potters Colour Stain FW5674 10 gm

Things to remember…

Egyptian Paste is not like normal plastic clay. As little handling as possible is advised as the salt content is diminished with excess work resulting in no glaze effect when fired. The body that the paste creates is short and open and provides little plasticity, it has little green strength and is therefore easily breakable.

Egyptian Paste may be thrown but only for small pieces and water must be used to lubricate the clay. It is normally shaped by hand, rolled with a rolling pin or pressed into moulds.

Always allow for complete, slow drying and if possible thread the pieces onto nichrome wire (Product Code NP3). This makes for ease of handling and firing.

Fire the pieces between 850 – 950°C and the colours will be vivid and bright.