[Clayart] cone 6-7 5x20 fun (story)

RAYMOND BOGLE rbogle at comcast.net
Sat Aug 20 22:01:53 UTC 2022

Thanks for sharing this Mel....it home for me.  Since getting my MFT up and running (about 5yrs ago) I have been using the same glazes. I had to chuckle as every time I open up the kiln it basically looks the same.  Same type of pots, same glazes :(  I must say that it made it demotivating to take the effort to make pots and fire the kiln just to produce "more of the same" stuff. Were things reliable and stable, yes, but nothing new or exciting.

Based on your post I'm going to kick myself in the butt and live on the edge next time I fire. I may not laugh at my next firing but I suspect I'll smile :)


> On 08/20/2022 5:30 PM mel jacobson <melpots at mail.com> wrote:
> As I have written, I am for the first time in my life
> firing cone 6 electric. It is a ball, but has a great
> deal of learning involved. (sifting carefully for one)
> I am using that old base from Ron Roy the "tony glaze 5x20".
> feldspar, silica, clay, wollastonite and frit 3134.
> I mix epk with ball clay, and any other clean clay
> I might want to throw in there.
> The joy is using one base glaze...I mix it 25lbs
> of each item, using a storage tub. Mix it well dry
> with a garden hoe. (or any other tool.) No scale.
> I use a 1/8 cup scoop for oxides.
> What is so joyful is mixing the colored glazes
> together when they get low it all the same recipe.
> (I use 3 gallon plastic
> pails. )  So, I have a gallon of blue and I just throw
> it in with my new green glaze.  See what happens. It is
> always really adventurous, but I am getting some amazing
> colors. And, when it is gone, it is gone. Try something else.
> No notes or recipes. And, what makes me really smile...you
> cannot copy it. No recipe. ("I don't know noth'n.)
> But best of all, I cannot copy me. Every firing is something
> new. My customers are slapping their heads..."Mel, what is that
> glaze, it is fantastic..wow...(credit card comes out.)"
> And since I am firing cone 7 gas too, lite reduction, the glazes
> almost always have a "hare's fur" quality as I am layering
> everything.  Lots of spotted trout at cone 6.
> In fact, I am firing my baby stoneware kiln today. All new colors.
> Lots of blue over green, with a thin white over the top third.
> (I use tin and zircopax for white.)
> This is my reaction to "everyone's pots look the same". And, yes
> I have walked the NCECA shows with David Hendley, Dannon, Doug Gray
> Kurt Wild and the best walking through a show...Robin Hopper.
> When you have heard Robin say..."Good God, what is that???"
> (tears come to my eyes writing this.) You know it is stupid pots.
> I hate looking at my own pots and saying.."Good God, what is that.??"
> I change everything about every 5 years. I mean everything.
> Rhodes 32 enhanced served me well, made a lot of money. But, I got
> sick of looking at my big kiln full of the same old. I did 6 years
> of shino, 5 of hare's fur.
> I made a business determination about 6 years ago.  If you want to sell
> pots to younger clients...Make COLOR. 5 years of pete's red cranberry.
> And now...new color..bright and and very happy.
> Look hard at your work. Don't kid yourself. Start over if you have to.
> But, don't keep doing the same old thing.  You get old fast. Stay
> alive..Kick your own butt. In the end, it will make you smile and
> even laugh.  "That damn Mel, made me laugh at my own work."  I do hope
> so.
> Mel
> website: www.melpots.com
> www.melpots.com/CLAYART.HTML

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