Cheryl L Litman on wed 28 jul 99
Ian Currie will be presenting a glaze development workshop at a private
studio in Denville , NJ (20 minutes north of Morristown) on September 18
and 19. The cost is expected to be $100 for the two days.
The following is a description of the class and a bio of Ian. We still
have room and I'm sure it will be a great workshop.
The systematic method developed by Ian Currie for studying glazes has
proven a powerful tool for students of ceramics. The method is outlined
his book "Stoneware Glazes: A Systematic Approach". His most recent
publication is a paper in which he shows how this approach can be used
original research into glazes over a wide range of firing temperatures
without a knowledge of Seger Formula. (See in Ceramics Technical No. 4:
Systematic Recipe Approach to Studying Glazes.").
The workshop will involve taking participants through the Systematic
Method as outlined in the Ceramics Technical article. Being a recipe
method, it is accessible to all regardless of their understanding of
chemistry. At the end of the first day students will have possibly 5
of glazes ( about 175 individual glazes) ready for firing, and will
understand the method. Where the workshop extends to a second day, the
glazes will be fired overnight and participants will be able to see and
assess the results and explore possibilities with group discussions. On
the second day there are a number of other possible activities including
lectures on glaze theory, slide lectures on Japanese pottery including
firing and pottery in general, and more time to work one to one with
students. There may also be time for some more practical work, extending
on the results from the first day.
One of the problems of many other approaches to glaze research is a
to emphasise the vital importance of alumina and silica variations in
pinning down specific effects and discovering exciting new glazes.
Systematic variation of alumina and silica, along with the fluxes, is
central to this method, and is largely responsible for its success. The
method is organized so that one is able to separate out the variables and
therefore highlight cause and effect. It gives precise control and
understanding of things like color response, maturity, crazing, glaze
surface phenomena such as mattness, shininess and orange-peel surface, as
well as opalescence, opacity, colour-break phenomena etc.
Another feature of the workshop is the use of "mass production"
to make and apply glazes quickly, and also cooperative division of labor
sharing out the work between groups and sharing the results. A lot will
achieved in a day.
Ian Currie lives and works in Queensland, Australia, on a community at
Maryvale about an hour and a half's drive from Brisbane. He has been
studying and working with clay and glazes for over 30 years.
In 1971-2 he spent over a year in Japan studying many aspects of Japanese
ceramics, including their approach to glazes. Upon his return to
Australia, he made a living producing functional handmade stoneware and
His interest in glazes eventually led to tutoring in the subject
wide. In 1980 he founded a correspondence course in Stoneware Glazes for
the Australian Flying Arts School ( now Flying Arts Inc.) and tutored
course for several years. He was also a flying pottery tutor with AFAS
during this period.
He is best known for the method he has developed over the years for
studying glazes - a very efficient systematic technique that quickly
reveals glaze principles while discovering beautiful glazes, and outlined
in his book which has become a standard reference. His latest
in Ceramics Technical No.4 extends the approach to cover a full range of
firing temperatures and makes the method more accessible to potters with
aversion to chemistry and calculations.
Recently a study group was formed on the Internet to use the method for
research and to share results.
He has been invited to speak on the "History of Glazes" panel at the Fort
Worth NCECA conference in 1998.
These days he spends most of his working life making decorative tiles,
still does regular teaching, makes pots for pleasure only, and enjoys
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