[Clayart] all the things can right or wrong

mel jacobson melpots at mail.com
Fri Jan 31 07:28:50 EST 2020

i always look at carols posts. it is such a great reminder
to all of us that `everything matters`.

you don't copy a recipe, make it, dip your pots and get
some sort of perfect results. `call perry at skutt, have him
program your kiln computer again`  and a favorite `mel, my brent wheel
is not totally flat, it is off by 10/32's.  i think it affects my
throwing.`  the guy i met in madras, india was throwing on a cow cart wheel
with animal fat on the hub, sitting on a smooth rock...turned it by hand. he straddled the wheel
and it went up and down about two inches as it spun. he moved his body
in rhythm with the dip.  he made damn fine pots.  charged me like 10 rupees
to watch him. (about 5 cents.) i gave him an american five dollar bill
and he pee'd his pants.

think of the jian wood fired kilns in the year 600. hare's fur, oil spot
partridge feather glazes. why?
150 meters long, up a hill. fired with wood, mostly pine.
thousands of pots inside. 15 chambers.
`hey chang, what's the weather forcast?` yah. and they fired
over days.  what does the pyrometer say? oh, no pyrometer, or
digital read out. mr. chee read the color of the fire. what's the temp?
`where the hell is mrs. thom and the extra thousand sticks of wood?
we ain't gonna be done for 16 more hours.`

barometer spikes up.  the fire changes.
cold weather hits during the cool down, takes ten extra days
sitting at 1900F.  would the silica affect the color?
it all matters.

a million people along the `min` river...all working in the pottery industry.
men, women, childen...`hey get that gang of kids making saggers..we need
5,000 more this week.`  `hey guys, man the kick wheels, we just got an order
for 50,000 pots...the guy from the castle just left.`
it all matters.
that is our history, that is where we came from...the world of ancestors
that worked in clay...not hundreds of years ago, thousands of years of clay work.
and sometimes we think we are so smart.

does one learn anything in a semester in college?  not much any longer. you know.
`skill is votech stuff...we make smart art`...sure.
it all matters.
skill, knowledge, chemistry, physics, artistic en-devour, weather, mechanical
leverage, human strength. hydro, fire, thermo technology, fire, wood working,
plumbing, gas, electric knowledge, fire.  it goes on and on...IT ALL MATTERS.

website: www.melpots.com

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