[Clayart] humidity

mel jacobson melpots at mail.com
Tue Mar 7 12:48:23 UTC 2023

In many ways sheet plastic wrapped around sculptures has the opposite affect.
The water migrates to the plastic like a rain forest and drips back onto the
piece.  A big tent of plastic over a bunch of pots is one thing. wrapping wet
clay, may be the wrong thing.

I met an amazing sculptor from Germany a few years back. She made lovely large
figures. Arms outstretched etc. She wrapped her sculptures in linen as she worked.
yes, a natural fiber cloth. It works like a charm.

When I went to Mata Ortiz some of the potters where having trouble with big pots
cracking. You know, those wedding pots, two pots put together with a strap. Each pot
was bigger than a basketball.

I made a simple grid of 2x4's in one fellows back yard. About 6'x 8'. I had him
place the pots upside down, and cover each pot with cotton t shirt fabric, and in
some cases just used old t shirts with the neck pinned closed. He would pull out one
at a time and work on burnishing
and decor ideas, then let the entire group dry in the shade, on the grid with fabric
covers. It totally solved their problem.

When there, you do not tell those Mexican potters how to make pots. Mouth shut and admire.
But I saw big pots on beds, under tables. Those pots sell for thousands of dollars and they
made one big mistake. Plastic.  I had the translator talk to them about "potters problemos".
We all have technical problems and that we share.

I got an email about six months later...it just said, "tell the big gringo to come to mata ortiz
and see us, no cracking pots. thanks". nice.

I bet many of you laughed when you saw old refrigerators in potters studios, for three D work they'
are wonderful. And some potters use plastic tubs with tight covers. get them at garage sales.
I use thin sheet plastic with dozens of small holes punched in it. slow drying. it works.

The plastic sheet and a plastic bucket changed the work of potters in a most dramatic way.
Maybe the biggest change in the history of making pots. But, one size does not fit all things.

website: www.melpots.com

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