[Clayart] observations

Mahaffey, Rick rmahaffey at tacomacc.edu
Wed Aug 22 14:59:27 EDT 2018

In my experience in oxidation Iron acts like a refractory material while cobalt tends to be the opposite- refractory in reduction and a flux in oxidation.
On oxidation, you are right that any flaws are painfully obvious.   Pots must be very well made/formulated and glazes in perfect shape for a good application.  In my mind working with oxidation glazes require more skill and care with application and quality of materials.

I too, and glad that I learned craftsmanship and care when making pots.   My time in Japan working in the studio of a working potter who apprenticed with a living national treasure taught me even more (he never criticized my work but being around his work two days a week taught me by example).

It seems ceramics has gone the way of conceptual art that is the idea is more important than craftsmanship (in the traditional sense).  I have read with relish articles in magazines about the use of handmade ware in restaurants and been disappointed with the images of the work which to my ancient mind does not show enough craftsmanship or even solid design.   I too am a dinosaur entering my 5th decade of making pots.


Rick Mahaffey
Ceramics dept.
Tacoma, Community College
6501 So. 19th St.
Tacoma, WA 98466

office phone: 253-566-5260                 ceramics studio phone:  253-566-5346

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