[Clayart] mel's book, kilns/story

mel jacobson melpots2 at visi.com
Wed Oct 5 11:48:50 EDT 2016

sumi gave me a great review on `our` book.  thank you.

a bit of history is in order about the kiln book. it is a 
100 percent clayart project. nils was the instigator, and i 
finished the project.

we both had a very clear vision as to a small backyard kiln 
that was easy to build, was not very expensive and it gave 
the opportunity to both women and men to have their own gas 

the mini minnesota flat top kiln was the answer. it can be 
made any size you wish.  it is made of standard bricks and 
almost no metal work, or complex welding. that was the birth 
of the flat top, and the reason nils and mel and kurt 
refined the size and shape. it was SIMPLE AND EASY AND 
INEXPENSIVE. that was our motivation.  and, to be non 
politically correct...i wanted women, without building 
experience to have equal rights.  and if any objects to 
that...well, go to hell.

i had available to me a vast army of well informed potters 
and clay artists. and, people trusted me to do the right 
thing...so, i decided to write a book, with the help of 
clayart friends, a book that represented the modern 21st 
century kiln.  all the facts.  (bill schran named the book)

we had about 40 fine experts stepping forward and wanted to 
help.  and, like very few books in history, the helpers got 
a by line.  we gave credit to the many authors. i was the 
assembler,  with the theories of mel, nils and kurt as the 
basis for the book.

of course donovan palmquist did the chapter on arches...of 
course. vince wrote a chapter on his kilns, david hendley 
wrote an amazing chapter on his wood fired kiln, included 
was a 45 minute video. amazing stuff. arnold howard did the 
last 30 pages on electric kiln firing and maintenance. who 
else should do it.????? 15 others chronicled the building of 
their own kilns.  at home, by themselves.
they got bi lines too.

we made over two hours of videos of the kilns included. as 
often can happen, potters tend to be visual learners, so we 
gave them visuals.  that cd is really good. real people, 
showing real kilns that work. vital to the integrity of the 

so, it is never my book, it is a `OUR` BOOK. CLAYART 
INSPIRED`. of course ron and john encouraged me and helded 
me.  as should be the case.  quality people with the world 
of clay folks as the experts.

so, we are very proud of the book.  we have sold a lot of 
them. and not one complaint.  (we had one, but it turned out 
to be `pilot error`...oppps.)

i have done other small books as free pdf's. and of course 
my original book `potter, a life a lifetime` by me is always 
available on amazon.

i try not be pimp my books etc.  they seem to find homes 
without that...but, a bit of history was important...and i 
love thanking those that made it possible. dedicated folks 
who want the teaching of clay and firing to be real and current.
thank you all.

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