Glowforge and Clay

Hey Guys!

So I am a potter and currently have had a ton of success using my glowforge to create stamps. I have been thinking about using it to laser onto pre-fired clay (greenware). at that stage, the clay will be dry and the water evaporated.

Anyone have any thoughts on this? I have both porcelain clay as well as earthenware.

do you think you could do it on a wetter clay too - kind of the consistency of playdough?

thanks for any thoughts/setting ideas/etc…!


If it’s actual clay… I don’t see any problem with it. But I have no idea what the results will look like.


do you think the clay would need to be completely dehydrated? If it has some water content you can still pick it up and mold it. Didn’t know if the water in it would be a problem.


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We’ve got a wealth of prior art in mineral-based substrates that give us some ideas.

Clay at that point will likely behave like other stone or porcelain, and either glass/melt or crack/spall.

There is one way to be sure, try it out!


Again, one way to find out, chances are the very surface and shalow subsurface water will be turned to steam and cause spalling of the clay. Water absorbs a tremendous amount of heat as it rises from liquid to boiling, a little water will take a lot of the laser energy.

Give it a whirl, it might be cool :slight_smile:

Also, it’s been tried:


like @evansd2 says… Try it out. :slight_smile:

It should be perfectly safe to do it as far as the material itself so… Experiment away and let us all know what you find out. Some of the cooler things have been found just by experimentation.

Of course nuclear bombs were discovered by experimenting as well. hrmmmmmm… :rofl:


Test all the things, and explore the joy of discovery!


If no one else has already glowforged clay, then you can be the first!! Woohoo! Then you’ll be our clay expert! :smiley:

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I personally would be concerned about the wet clay and effects of that much moisture inside your GF, and weigh that against the benefit of lasering vs. stamping. I followed one of the links posted above, and the effect on wet clay was underwhelming. Stamps are much clearer.

Have you explored lasering glazed ceramics? I’ve done some on tiles with a colorful glaze and white clay, the results were crisp and beautiful. There’s a lot of potential there with much less risk.

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I literally posted multiple threads where they did, scroll back up a bit :slight_smile:

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Have you made any post or how-to suggestions for making good potter stamps. This is something I want to try and would love to see someone else’s process and what worked or didn’t work.