[Clayart] cow paddys

mel jacobson melpots at mail.com
Wed Apr 6 18:27:18 UTC 2022

Kurt Wild got very excited to use dung as a heat source
for low temp pottery.  Black ware and such was fired for
years using dung...but, "DRY DUNG"  ....
People have the perception that cow dung is wet, sloppy,
icky stuff. And, it is.  But dung found in dry climates, esp
cattle and goat sheep dung is like a grass paddy.

Most of what goes in a cow is grasses.  What comes out is used up grass.

When working in Dubai I wanted very dry camel dung. Makes for a hot fire.
The Sheiks office wanted to know "what in the hell does he want that for???"
Firing Pots.  So they sent a Michigan Loader with about 800 lbs of dung
from the precious, world class race camels stable.

That dung fired hot, blue flame and we got jet black "Maria" ware, and
everyone in my class made black bears, burnished with sea shells. A couple
of women from Ok and New Mex cried. They never thought we could do it.
They had been to those pottery villages.  Man, was that fun.

In India cow dung is used for fuel, and there is a stack in every kitchen.
I am sure that in many rural, or poor areas, it is the same in 2022 as 1950.
I actually saw women rubbing with great vigor cow paddy material on their wooden
bread making table. The patina was stunningly lovely. I ate puri bread made on one
of those tables. Think of warm gee butter soaked fresh hot bread.

  The tandoor ovens used dung, along with thin strips of wood. Man
is that good, makes my mouth water thinking of the real stuff. The oven is piled brick
with the fire at the bottom. The dough is flattened and thrown flat against the brick.
When done, the fellow uses a fork and pulls it out.  It had to have been 400f on that
brick wall. (they also baked chicken in that oven.  The oven is called a "tandoor".

I have been blessed with the ability to ask.."CAN I SEE?".  Ask the owner of an Indian
restaurant if you can go in the kitchen.."I am a potter, I want to see the Tandoor."
In I go.  Same in a great Chinese kitchen...Nee How Ma.  So many of the commercial woks
have a gas foot feed. It turns the wok red hot in 15 seconds. You should see fresh hot and sour
soup made in a very hot wok. 2 minutes.

We asked the zoo keeper at the Rockie Mnt. zoo, Denver if we could see baby Tigers...
He said, "fine, follow me, and we went behind a door and in a cage was a mammouth mama tiger
and six newborns. My son Mark was 12, a high lite.  He also went to the Cobra Zoo in Madras.
He was in heaven. 4,000 cobras.  (They milk them for venom to make antidotes.")
So, anyway, lots of stuff to see out there in the big world.
Be polite, smile and give respect, and they ask you in the kitchen.
Amazing thought. So often ignored.   You can smell arrogance from a mile away.
Love to all, Mel

website: www.melpots.com

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