[Clayart] observations/ story

mel jacobson melpots at visi.com
Wed Aug 22 09:00:11 EDT 2018

there are many things that go on when one changes kilns, clay body
and glaze.
many, many.

it starts with throwing technique, how you finish your pots, foot rings,
cleaning up the bottoms, sponging the pots.

when doing electric firing at cone 7 every tiny flaw shows.  pin holes
become volcanoes.  using pure white at cone 7 oxy is a nightmare.
everything shows.

i really was aware of this in japan...we had white clay, white glaze and 
was sort of it.  form ruled.  very sterile pots...made perfectly.

when i fire to cone 11 everything melts...really melts.  and the results are
wonderful.  it is always serendipity. 

it is why i can throw all sorts of things into my clay body.  sand, 
grog, oxides, sand
from beaches....even iron filings.  they all blend and melt.  tremendous 
it is another form of crystal growth.  it happens without your help.

now i am confronted with cone 7 oxy firings..lots of black and white.
everything oil spots.  but, i have to keep my mel6 clay...very clean.
it has to be wired about 10 times..then slammed.  i pick out anything i 
i use very fine silica sand.  no additions like rough iron etc.
it does not show like cone 11, and when it does...it is a flaw.

i screen my glazes three times.  the white has to be like a white sheet 
on the pot.  everything changes.  and, that is good.  keeps my mind active.

change is coming fast in our customers.  the over decorated, bright 
color parade
is moving on.  the younger buyers are becoming minimalists.  they do not 
clutter.  they select pots based on use...storage, nothing sitting out 
like `nick/nacks`.
not much in the house to `observe`  but it has to have purpose.

my customers love the new black and white pots...bang, gone.  all i get 
is `wow, finally
something i love`   `my mom loved your aqua and tan...we don't buy that, 
we buy
black and white.`  so.  i don't complain...i adjust.

it was like my thought last week looking at CM...`are these potters, 
clay makers or ILLUSTRATORS.`?
lots of commercial pastel glazes, painted on with a brush.  loppy pots 
all metaphored.
and, that is fine...it is what they do..not my business.  but, i am sure 
glad i have skill and knowledge
of clay and glaze.  i don't have to buy it.  but, that is my choice.  
others do what they want.
i come from the dark ages...but man, what a great journey.  and i have 
years to go, and stuff
to make, and things that we all use to design.

as many of you know, i am dealing with the county for help with my 
to be put in a `memory care facility`  alzmr's.

i was interested in the comments from the social worker/finance 
director) when she
visited our home.  `mel, you are the only person that makes an income 
for this family.
a teachers pay and pension...your savings are almost gone....used up.  
how in the
hell have you lived this marvelous life style...amazing?   `well, we are 
frugal, i build
what i need, make things, and take advantage of travel opportunities and 
make them pay
with knowledge gained.  it is never about money...it is about love of life.`

`i do not spend my money on stuff. no new boat, i have older cars, we 
take care of things.  everything
works well. we waste nothing. if you do that, you will have extra funds.`
` i have never purchased a $6 latte, and a $4 dollar muffin.  i drink 
water from
my well.  i cook real food.  and amazingly, we read a great deal.  best 
on the planet. almost free```

when she left she said...`this is one of the most amazing visits i have 
ever had...you folks
are amazing...we are going to help you in every way possible way`... and 
they are.
i am very proud of that.
ps...she said `there are very wealthy people in your area that are trying
to scam the county for aide....they want us to pay for nursing home care
for a loved one....it never works, we catch them all.`   i say...it is 
hard to
hide that $50,000 car.

Mel's Website:  www.melpots.com

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