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mel's kiln book (long)

updated mon 28 jan 08


mel jacobson on sat 26 jan 08

i just wanted to report that the book project
is steaming along.

we now have strong commitments from twenty
potters that have built kilns, at their homes, and
are ready to write and film their experiences. i am

these are not famous potters, with gobs of grant
money, or college funding...these are regular folks
that have taken the challenge and built a kiln by
themselves. there are a variety of design
and construction techniques explored. they are excited to
tell their story, and help others that have been sitting
on the fence...hoping to build a kiln. several of the
kilns are in inner city/urban neighborhoods...with houses
twenty feet away. you will all sort of gasp when you see
them...yet, they have found a way to fire without smoke
or fumes, and the neighbors love them. many have found
very interesting kiln shelter projects to protect the kiln
from prying eyes and weather.

i am happy to have a half dozen really great friends
that have stepped forward to contribute sections of the
book...each will have a byline. they are adding their own
expert advice and knowledge.

My dear friend jim woelm at of minneapolis
has had me meet with his staff and have assured me that
all the process` of making this book are in their hands. `just give
us the raw data, the film and simple documents and it will be
completed in record time.

the book will be sold in three formats:
one, spiral bound/black and white work book with
a cd of the same, and two dvd's. first dvd will be
of the guest kilns and snips from a variety of professional fire brick suppy/ and gary moore the president
and owner describing various bricks and kaowool kiln parts (on film).
second dvd will be shot at `hay creek` with all the kilns included.
donovan himself with wife colleen will fire the wood kiln. film of the salt kiln
firing, stoneware and raku/pit/and gas electric. in other words, the works.

two: sold as a cd and two dvd set to be used on a computer.
(easy to ship)

three: it will be available as a paid for download to your computer
with all the text and movies etc. ready to go.

some of the best things about self published books are:
you can name names, name vendors, have vendors contribute paragon kilns/howard arnold. we have no axes
to grind and want to support those that make our lives better.
show the reader/viewer where to go, to get what you need.
(even going to film spiral pipe being manufactured. will try and
get the owner to be interviewed on tape. ) i even hope to film
at a plumbing company...view couplers/baso valves/pipe and
tubing. real stuff.

i am not pimping the book here on clayart, just letting
folks know how it is done. i will be more than willing to
contact jim woelm for any of you that want to talk to him'
about ideas you have. personal touch.
several have already called me with great ideas for teaching
tapes and manuals. i hope they go for their own.

i am thrilled with the idea of shared byline/credit/glory.
many of these folks would never be published or ever get
credit for what they have done. i want to make that happen.
we hope this entire project will be done without ego. it is
about helping many with the idea of making, building being a part
of a fuel kiln. how to do it, fire it, be prudent, save fuel and
be a credit to the world of craft. we are excited about cone 6
reduction. taking what you already know, and convert to a
fuel kiln. it is very doable. take the great work of john and
ron and see where it goes in a fuel kiln. (a kiln designed to
fit the work load of the potter using it...and the temperature
and schedule they already have.)

about 80 percent of participants are clayarters. great friends.
the hay creek gang is going to be a big part of the book.
great working potters, that actually make pots...not talk
about pots. you know...production people, that actually

from minnetonka:
clayart site:

Kim Overall on sun 27 jan 08


Please make mine option #1: spiral b/w book, cd, 2 dvd's

There's nothing I like better than to look at paper with words
and pictures that I can carry with me and thumb through whenever
and wherever. It'll be easier to study its contents that way
beside the kiln I'll be building, too.

The cd and dvd's will be visual theory study in the early
morning with my coffee.


Kim in Houston