[Clayart] glazes again/story

mel jacobson melpots at mail.com
Wed Jan 29 08:27:50 EST 2020

many of you will remember that i used a two ingredient glaze
my entire teaching career.  it was a slide glaze. (from my old pal richard behrens.
i wrote his obit for cm. a great honor for me.)

volcanic ash
gertsley borate
any opacifier you could find.

for raku gerts 80
ash 20
for mid range...60/40
for cone 11 ash 90, gerts 10.
i used 60/40, sort of cone 5

i made a 50 gallon industrial drum full, added
a canoe paddle.  kids filled small pails
to make colored glazes.  they knew all about
mount st. helens. that is where the ash came from.
many of you should make the glaze and then imagine
that mountain blowing up and giving you glaze.
it does not come from jars, it comes from nature, natural is the word.

now i would use 3134.

at the time, both of those materials were cheap.
i could make 50 gallons of glaze for about $20.
think of buying jars    and ash came in a 60 lb bag,
gerts was 40 lb.  i took the savings and bought clay.
plus kids actually knew what glaze was.

some kids would sift fire place ash and add that to the mix.
in fact often a kid would make a glaze from wood ash and add
50% gertsley. it worked

one of my smile days would be:  `who made that aqua glaze,??? where did that
come from..hey, i want to use that...who made it.???  the girl would turn
her back and hide her glaze bucket back in her hallway locker.  there were
a lot of `secret formulas`.  in fact kids commandeered most of the lockers
in the hall by the clay room. they added their own locks...stored clay boxes
glaze and private stuff.  when kids graduated they passed the lockers to
juniors. it was a ceremony.
when kids take ownership of their lives it spills to others. when you try and
force kids into a box, they rebel.  my kids owned that hallway and clay room.
they loved it with extreme passion

the janitors and locker police knew what was going on...and loved it.
they never cut off a pottery lock.
people always wondered why i smiled all the time.  i loved kids, hated schools.
so, my space was for kids, not the school.  the concept of standardized test never
entered our minds..(for example) our star kid had terrible reading problems, got mostly D's..but
was honored by other students in our space.  what is testing by standards...? who's standards?
oh, thats right, those folks at harvard know. bullshit

website: www.melpots.com

More information about the Clayart mailing list