search  current discussion  categories  forms - handles 

handles and spoooze/primer

updated sun 13 feb 11


mel jacobson on fri 11 feb 11

a gal by the name of peggy heare gave us this recipe
years back. then we got mad as hell because she died
of cancer. we all loved peggy.
i use it all the time. almost failsafe.

in a quart mason jar (important that is mason, not ball)
although, those green jars are nice too...clear, celedon green. nice.
have a good cover.

fill just under half way with warm/hot water.
add any scrap vinegar you have. like a cup or more.
add any sugar, molasses, or best
is the old jar back in the cupboard, left side/ second shelf,
way in the back, kero syrup, warm the cover as it
will be on like you super glued it. it has been sitting
in that cupboard since you moved in/ like 1967. a cup or more is fine.
and, add scrap clay body of what you use most. nice dry scrap.
should make a slurry about as thick as heavy cream. `land of lakes`,
not some cheap odd brand cream. i prefer a cream from a black and
white friesian* cow. now, i love guernseys, but not many around any
longer. and those eyes on the jersey. man.
*the holdstein came from the island/area of
friesianland/holland/north rhineland.
breed is almost 2000 years old.

pick out an old brush/oriental style. put nail in wall near
jar. use only that brush as the hair gets hard and funny.
rinse it out in your clay water bucket when done. hang up on nail.
(jeez, drill a hole in the handle.)

i always have a jar of porcelain spooze too. use 4x25
half cup of each...god, you should know.
24.9% china clay
then silica
then feldspar
then ball clay. makes a great white slip/ shake or blend in
an old blender from a garage sale. $3.25 (never pay more that
that./ will work for ever.
add vinegar and sugar to taste.

use it generously on the attachment area to be handled.
if the area is at all dry, dip the entire pot in water, quickly, then
set aside for ten minutes.
i use a 1952 cocktail fork, came in a set of 8. . two tyne, epoxied to a
nice bamboo handle and then score deeply.
push your handle in firmly, squish around.
then pull to shape. if you are using a fine clay body
with lots of talc, they will crack anyway. ( hate talc in clay.) add
some really
fine sand and really fine grog to your handle clay...mix well.
cut and slam 31 times.

if need be, put a fine plastic tent
over your items overnight. if you wrap tightly with plastic, the
water comes to the surface like a jungle bandage...and wets the
handle. it is better to make a tent about 6.78 inches over the
items. i use that really fine/lite drop cloth, or cleaner bag
plastic. lite as can be. does not bother the pieces.
and, a fine cotton or better, linen fabric makes a great drying tent.
if you are a real smarty pants, you make some bisque fired
clay stands that will hold the plastic up. design your own, i will
not give out my secret for those, i may want to patent them one day.

i saw some great clay/fired porcelain window hold open pots on
`antiques road show from england`. they had a notch that the
window base fit into. they sat on the ledge. keep the window open
about 5 inches. cute as hell. 1840's sort of thing. shape of a king.
all orange glazed. symbolic. `orange`.
look it up if you don't know.

so, easy. some days in japan i would put handles on a hundred fifty
mugs. all the same. not one ever cracked. good clay, good
drying habits. slow it down.

some folks will come back a few hours later and brush a thin coat
of spooze around the handle area. then take a well polished popsicle
stick and smooth the area. sort of push everything tightly together.
or, if you find a fine crack...use the stick to polish it over.

from: minnetonka, mn
clayart link:
new book:

John Post on fri 11 feb 11

> i use a 1952 cocktail fork, came in a set of 8. . two tyne, epoxied
> to a
> nice bamboo handle and then score deeply.

Wouldn't you just know it, all of the cocktail forks in our house are
the 1953 three tine variety. Damn.

John Post
Sterling Heights, Michigan

Follow me on Twitter

Fred Parker on sat 12 feb 11

This is another MEL CLASSIC. To be printed and tacked to the wall. My b=
regret is I paid $13 for my blender, but it was new...

Fred Parker

On Fri, 11 Feb 2011 16:34:43 -0600, mel jacobson wrot=

>a gal by the name of peggy heare gave us this recipe
>years back.


douglas fur on sat 12 feb 11

I eat my peas with honey;
I've done it all my life.
It does sound rather funny,
But it keeps them on the knife.

Seola Creek