[Clayart] report from the farm

William Schran wschran at twc.com
Tue Jul 6 02:18:22 UTC 2021

It is potter's heaven indeed!After a few years attending, last year
and this I missed but plan to not miss it again!

William Schranwschran at twc.com703-505-1617

	-----------------------------------------From: "paul gerhold" 
To: "Clayart international pottery discussion forum"
Sent: Monday July 5 2021 8:37:19PM
Subject: Re: [Clayart] report from the farm

 Potters heaven!


 Sent from my iPad

 > On Jul 5, 2021, at 5:34 PM, mel jacobson  wrote:
 > hello to all, We served supper to 20 people for two weeks at the
hay creek farm.
 > I cooked breakfast for about 8 men each day. eggs, sausage etc.
(our camp is split
 > to north half men, south end women. Men do not go to the south end
until at least
 > 10 a.m., but of course often some of the women trot down to get ham
and eggs at 7 a.m.
 > it makes us all laugh.
 > We had a great group of potters and artists. folks showed up
healthy and left healthy.
 > Intelligent adults, working in a group. It works you know.
 > All the systems at the farm worked to perfection.
 > we added a new roof to my small stoneware kiln. (daphne and john
did the hands on.) it is not
 > verbal here, we learn by doing. The top is back to spec. We used
four cases of new k-26 brick. We have
 > a nice mess of bricks left to make all the door bricks on three
kilns almost new.
 > we had about 6 wheels going night and day. hundreds of pots made.
on the thursday, we fired all of
 > our kilns at the same time. Salt, big stoneware, small stoneware,
raku, pit and electric.
 > the horse hair pots were "racers"
 > we have made some changes in the stoneware kilns. (And the new top
helped.) we fired the small stoneware
 > 6 days in a row. fired to cone 11 in four hours and 15 minutes. The
big stoneware now fires to the "sweet spot"
 > in 5 hours and twenty minutes to cone 11. All the kilns produced
great pots, nice reduction and good glaze color.
 > folks were thrilled. Everyone got in on the firing, loading and
stories of technique. We do not speed fire, we let
 > the kiln find what it wants to do best and away they go. When the
gas pressure is right, the damper is right
 > and the back pressure at the peep is about four inches, the kiln
takes off. We do turn down the pressure and open
 > the damper a bit at cone 9. 10 and 11 drop in just a half hour.
 > Bob Anderson and Mel spent our 43rd year together for summer camp.
Six campers have died during that time. We have
 > ashes of most of them buried at the farm. Our folks leave politics
and personal stories at home. The camp is about
 > the joy of working with clay, helping each other and total love for
what we do. It is always total cooperation, or
 > else a car leaves camp in a hurry. All women are respected and
treated as equals. They also do the hard work too.
 > We have no `issues`. Both of our gay men are our brothers. We love
them too.
 > It looks like we will be "over thirty guests next year". I charge
$350 for two weeks. Board and room, kilns, glazes
 > and wheels and class room. Many silk scarves were dyed this year.
And the jewelry studio was busy all the time.
 > Like clayart, we not seek a big prophet, we want to break even. Pay
our bills and keep the camp open. That we do.
 > If we need to build or repair, everyone pitches in, helps with the
bill. They all take ownership in the camp.
 > The weekend workshops around the country are hitting a thousand
bucks now. no thank you.
 > I know it is rather utopian, but with careful planning, selecting
folks that will work and help
 > and don't expect a hershey bar on their pillow we continue with the
program with ease and joy.
 > Mel
 > (we had four campers fly in, but with early tickets, the price was
very doable.)
 > website: www.melpots.com
 > www.melpots.com/CLAYART.HTML

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