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thoughts on salt glazing and other myths?

updated sat 19 nov 11


Wyndham Dennison on fri 18 nov 11

> What dismays me as a working studio potter=3D2C lifetime devoted to the c=
> =3D2C and to=3D20
> education and as educator in the arts and crafts is my observation of the=
> ncreasing=3D20
> "want the short answer" "want it now and only what will benefit me now" V=
> ational School attitude.
Question: "Why doesn't salt on my french fries combine with the acid
in my mouth to make chlorine gas and kill me"
I too have been a working studio potter for many years. The best
information I gained over my sojourn has come from working potters that
were willing to share parts of what they knew with someone that knew
very little.
Here's my take, you don't know what you don't know. If you don't
know something the new information given does not make sense. Old
information over rides this new information, because the new information
is not trusted. The more you learn the more you should question the old
Salt firing is one example, Mag Carb is another.We learn early on that
chemicals are dangerous, so old information tells us not to trust new
information. Only with experience and an open mind can we learn that
chemicals or other things(chain saws) can be used safely if we take the
time to LEARN their proper use and conditions.
The "Short Answer" issue can come from those who teach with a
narrow educational scope and not a well rounded fully exposed view of
the world. That narrow scope of teaching prevents a well rounded view
of the properties of a process or material, because they themselves have
never learned more than what they were taught, this to the determent of
the students and can perpetuate misinformation
A bit of advice, don't accept blindly anyone's teaching but
verify by many sources in different disciplines to develop a well
rounded knowledge base of your own.
BTW the "Easy Answer" is usually worthless but a well rounded,hard
fought for education is priceless.

Edouard Bastarache on fri 18 nov 11

Check this out, my take on the toxicity of Magnesium Carbonate,
an excerpt of my own book "Toxicology Ceramics Glass and

In French and English :

The way we use it does represent a threat to us.
"However, ingested in large amounts it may cause loose stools
and abdominal pain."
We are far from the exposure encountered
in a pottery shop,,,


Edouard Bastarache