[Clayart] books etc/long

robert hackert ndiaman at hotmail.com
Fri Feb 24 12:57:11 UTC 2023

Thank you Gwynneth.
I interesting Tony is in Mississippi. No doubt paying homage to George Ohr, the “Mad Potter of Biloxi.”’ Tony’s work is breakaway amazing.
Rob Hackert
North Port, Fl

Sent from my iPhone

> On Feb 24, 2023, at 4:29 AM, Gwynneth Rixon <g.z.rixon at gmail.com> wrote:
> Robert Hackett, Tony Clennell is at present Mud bashing in Mississippi!
> From his FB post....
> "Pots from the wood firing. We are having a show and party Friday night.
> Still spaces available for two day observational workshop this Saturday and
> Sunday at Brian Nettles Pottery ,Pass Christian, Mississippi"
> He is making some beautiful work
> Gwynneth
> Gwynneth Rixon ceramics, Scotland
>> On Fri, 24 Feb 2023, 15:39 robert hackert, <ndiaman at hotmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi Mel: Nice to read your comment re: kilns. At our local art center I
>> converted and old electric kiln to gas fired, coated the interior with ITC
>> 100,  fire salt/soda. No one interested, after the work requested done.
>> Tony was right, technically. I think art centers are concerned by our
>> igneous society of today. No hands on kiln or controls. When I conduct our
>> Raku firings, students make, and decorate, but I fire, remove and put in
>> reduction container.
>> Do not hear much about Tony Clennell of late.
>> Sent from my iPhone
>>>> On Feb 23, 2023, at 1:56 PM, mel jacobson <melpots at mail.com> wrote:
>>> When I started working on the kiln book, Tony Clennell said to me...."I
>> think you may
>>> be too late to write a kiln book, in a couple of years no one will be
>> firing with
>>> gas or wood. It will be all electric."  And, of course he was correct.
>> Building
>>> a home gas kiln is out of fashion. And, only the young and hardy will
>> even think "wood".
>>> And, the programmable gas kiln like Baillie's is fool proof. (and safe)
>> And without doubt
>>> the programmable electric is a wonder.
>>> Ron and John's book changed the world of home firing kilns. They gave
>> people a quality
>>> avenue to make pots. No longer was the "cowboy" potter firing with gas
>> the way to go.
>>> And, as I have said often..."the best potter in America is a woman with
>> an electric kiln
>>> in the garage, we have just not found her yet."  Although I think I know
>> five of them.
>>> After years of running clayart I can make that list about 500 fine women
>> potters, on their
>>> own, making damn fine work. They control the world of cone 6 with
>> amazing understanding of
>>> mid range glaze. They don't need the community center any longer to fire
>> with gas. In fact
>>> with the variety of potters around, how can anyone fire a kiln with gas
>> to satisfy the crowd.
>>> It is the same problem confronting a book on porcelain. Is it outdated?
>> The number of people
>>> wanting cone 11 porcelain is shrinking. (I know, I know, not just cone
>> 11.)
>>> I see a huge resurgence of raku and pit and outside firing. Our own
>> haycreek gang is making memorable
>>> raku/horsehair etc. Ray Bogle is doing outstanding work. Bill Schran is
>> doing wonders with crystals.
>>> These examples are just because they are all friends and I know their
>> work.
>>> A mid-sized electric kiln could easily be a money machine for anyone
>> wanting to be a potter.
>>> It has dignity in 2023.
>>> Gas prices are also a huge problem. The home potter cannot afford in any
>> way, a programmable kiln
>>> like the Blaugh.
>>> Colleen who is running our pottery in Minnetonka, just got a call for 50
>> electric fired mugs
>>> with logo. And, with the electric kiln she can match anything she wants.
>> These will be exactly
>>> the same as an order she filled three years ago. Mel6 clay, 5x20 black
>> and white. It no longer
>>> is necessary to be a cone 10 reduction potter. And, without doubt, those
>> coming from college
>>> may not have any skill in firing fuel kilns.
>>> We make all of our work for the electric kilns with dark brown clay. We
>> have never been confronted
>>> with customers that want "white clay".  They do not care, or even desire
>> white clay. I think that white
>>> clay has become the `go to` for schools. It is not dirty.
>>> I loved building the Kiln Book. It was so great to have many fine
>> potters with great skill and knowledge
>>> contribute to the book. It is a great book because of that. It is not
>> filled with pictures of "MY POTS",
>>> in fact no ego stuff at all. It is great information, and now it is free
>> of charge. What I say is, "The book
>>> is there for whatever, whenever someone wants it. The information does
>> not go away.
>>> I learned to be an author because of clayart. My fear left me. Win 95,
>> MSWord, and a texas instrument calculator
>>> changed my life. I can even understand algebra.
>>> I tell everyone, you have a style, it is yours, like your pots, like
>> painting, writing is just a style. If others
>>> do not like you. "screw them". You get an "iron butt, and a turtle
>> shell." And, you can always find an editor to help
>>> you if you need it. I still think one of life's best thrills is seeing a
>> book, with your name and title on the front.
>>> I remember when Bill Jones handed me a new copy of "Pottery, a Life, a
>> Lifetime" while sitting in a bar with about
>>> 20 clayart friends around. The goosebumps had goosebumps.
>>> Robin Hopper had a copy and read it that night. He sat down at breakfast
>> and said. "that is one of the best books I have
>>> ever read about clay. Mel, you are now in a new club forever, one that
>> writes a worthwhile book." I was stunned. But I also
>>> remember that as he was dying I named the best pot I have ever made the
>> "the Robin Hopper teabowl".  I was able to call
>>> him that last week and told him. He understood.
>>> I have completed the new book "Letters to Colleen" an autobiography of
>> my life as a potter and how Colleen came to me
>>> a broken human being and turned into an amazing person. "THE CLAY DID
>> IT." Skill, trust, understanding and life long
>>> friendship wins the struggle.  The book is dedicated to my one year old
>> name sake. "Melvin Richards" so it will not be
>>> publicly solicited. If you want to read it, let me know by email only. I
>> can download it. The very expensive thumb drive
>>> will be placed in a fire proof safe, and he can read it as an adult.
>> Colleen's Mom is doing the same for her grandchildren.
>>> I hope many of you feel the spirit and do the same thing. It is critical
>> that we write the story. Who cares what the style
>>> is, it is the story that counts. The future awaits your story.
>>> mel
>>> website:
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