[Clayart] Great Pottery throw down/ mending big lamp base w/ glaze

Corinna Laird ceylaird at gmail.com
Fri Jan 28 15:52:23 UTC 2022

Hi Carolyn, 
    I have enjoyed watching a couple episodes of The Great Pottery Throwdown when visiting friends with HBO. I spent a lot of the show exclaiming “Oh no, don’t do that!” and “How can they expect good pots under these conditions!” I agree about the drying—some big pots had no chance of surviving the fast drying that seemed to be the only option. Probably done on purpose to heighten the drama.
      Any time I have attempted a paper clay fix or a glaze fix like the one you describe from the show, it has pretty much failed. One time a really nice bowl I made in a classroom setting had a big piece broken out of the rim by a rookie trying to help load the bisque kiln. The teacher was so upset. He tried a spit fix with paper clay, didn’t work. He encouraged me to stick it together with glaze, didn’t work. So I’m not one for beating a dead horse. Maybe the potter on the show added some kind of sticky stuff to the glaze. I wonder if mixing glaze with Elmer’s glue would get anywhere.
         I’m volunteering at an art school where I live in Southern California, and I spent time loading bisque kilns recently. The teacher wanted me to load still-damp pieces, even ones that were still squishy! I asked, are you serious?? He said, yeah, just put it all in. I asked, how long do you preheat for? Turns out the program preheats for 15 hours. Good Lord. Nothing broke in that bisque firing. I personally would not choose to do it that way, but it’s really interesting to find out what you can and can’t get away with in ceramics.
    I hope you can get back to firing soon. COVID’s an enbuggerance. Stay inspired!

Corinna Laird

> On Jan 27, 2022, at 3:37 PM, Carolyn Curran <cncpots2 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Enjoyed cup of tea today with segment of Great Pottery Throw Down and was
> intrigued by one potter's use of :gooey, thick glaze. (or so she said) to
> repair very badly broken bisqued  lamp base.  They showed the lamp after it
> had gone through the glaze fire, and pieces looked to have held together.
> It wss like an archaeologist gluing an ancient amphora together in the
> workshop,  only  using glaze as a glue for a whole bunch of shards and then
> actually firing it with repairs.     Discussion, please.   The show has to
> be staged to a certain extent,  esp.  the last minute panicking with a 10
> second deadline and   other dramatic moments...but do you think this glaze
> used as glue was really something. the potter came up with herself or r was
> there a bit of coaching. or artistic license in the script?
> I have used clay mixed withi paper to fix cracks. bute never for broken
> shards,  have never used bisquefix and  don't know much about that.   I
> don't think I would ever try plain old glaze to attempt to repair a pile of
> shards.
> Great Pottery Throw Down:   I found out it was on HBOmax and thought. I
> would subscribe for a couple of months. to get the Throw Down.  Fun to
> watch while unable to fire in  my communal studio at present.   Covid
> restrictions easing here but slowly.    Cheers, all.  Carolyn Curran
> PS. A lot of kiln accidents on the show...I wonder if they time the drying
> of big pots too quickly to make for more dramatic show....If I  were  the
> pro in charge of firing,  I would preheat the hell out of the   kiln load.
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