Ray Aldridge on mon 11 sep 00
At 12:14 PM 9/11/00 -0500, you wrote:
> >> Why aim to make a uniquely individual clay form look like something it is
> >> not? Why not make the work and celebrate what it is? Next we'll be
> >> talking about glazes that make clay look like tupperware.
> >I respectfully disagree. Is it inherently wrong to want to apply the
> >effects of one
> >technique to another?
>Not meaning to be discouraging at all, just attempting to be accurate and
>really understand. If the reason for working on understanding a glaze that
>looks like salt but is not salt-fired is to better understand glaze
>chemistry and firing then Bravo!! If the resaon for using a glaze that
>looks like salt but is not salt-fired is to emulate something out of my
>reach, then I think I am pursuing the wrong direction. If I have an
>electric kiln only and then I have to deal with those limitationa and
>accept them (until I can change them).
I have to disagree with David, and agree with Diane that this is an
unnecessarily limiting attitude. From an esthetician's viewpoint, simply
attempting to imitate a process that is not technically feasible is, as
David says, likely to prove sterile. An excellent example of this is the
usually-frustrated objectives of those who have only electric kilns but who
admire the effects of reduction firing. Attempting to imitate these
effects in oxidation is usually not very interesting, and this is probably
what David is getting at. However, certain of the effects usually
associated with reduction firing turn out to be more a consequence of the
firing schedule (particularly the cooling rate) than of the atmosphere, and
this was probably discovered by those frustrated by the limitations of
In the case of imitation salt-glaze, if the potter is simply engaged by the
texture and other intrinsic qualities of salt glaze, then there's nothing
wrong with experimentation with faux salt. It's my opinion that these will
not yield good imitation salt glazes, because the process by which salt
glaze accretes on the surface is very different, physically, than the
process by which a normal glaze melts. But I wouldn't be at all surprised
to be proven wrong and this is how progress is made.
The insistence that things look as they are "supposed" to look would prove
discouraging to many ceramic artists-- particularly some of our notable
trompe l'oueil masters. Other examples are stoney mattes, lichen glazes,
and crawl glazes-- none of these are at all traditional and were the result
of ceramic artists trying to do something that hadn't been done before.
david mcbeth on mon 11 sep 00
>> Why aim to make a uniquely individual clay form look like something it is
>> not? Why not make the work and celebrate what it is? Next we'll be
>> talking about glazes that make clay look like tupperware.
>I respectfully disagree. Is it inherently wrong to want to apply the
>effects of one
>technique to another?
No it is not inherently wrong to apply the effects of one technique to
another. Les Lawrence (among others) uses a photcopy tecnque to apply
simulated surface to is work. BUT he is not, as far as I no, trying to make
his work look like photcopying on paper. He is not denying what the work
What is wrong with trying to achieve a particular result
>from a method that differs from the original method used?
nothing as long as it is true to the material.
>Some of us through choice or circumstances are unable to have a salt kiln,
>yearn to harness the skill to replicate the effects in our own way. It's
>another direction of exploration.
My email signature and address indicates that I teach in an art program at
a regional university. Don't understand that to mean that I have the great
studios you might find at the Appalachian Center for the Crafts or U of
Minnesota or any other of a numnber of fine places to study clay. We fire
in a top-loading skutt to Cone 6. Would I like a wood kiln? Of course!
Would lI like a gas kiln? Of course, and more likely to happen sooner.
>Are you fearful that using a "fake" salt glaze will somehow dilute the
>real salt glazing? If this is the case, should I also abandon my efforts
>to use a
>^6 electric Shino,
Is C6 electric Shino really Shino or just a glazes that simulates the
effect. Referrring to the book by Louise Cort, Set and Mino Ceramics, Jack
Troy, in his book, Wood-fired Stoneware and Porcelain, writes -
historically shino-type glazes are related to the evolution of kiln design;
specifically to kilns known as ogama or "great kiln" - an intermediate step
between the earlier anagama and the noborigama or chamber kiln.
So when we talk about C6 electric Shino we are probably just lazily
referring to a glaze that gives the appearance of a true shino glaze.
Should you abandon your efforts...
No Never. We learn and grow as people and potters be exploration.
even though I know it is quite disssimilar from a gas or wood
>fired shino? And by your logic, it seems we should cease to do raku
>we commonly call raku in America today is miles away from the original raku
>I guess I don't understand the purist attitude. It feels very discouraging.
>Diane in CT
Not meaning to be discouraging at all, just attempting to be accurate and
really understand. If the reason for working on understanding a glaze that
looks like salt but is not salt-fired is to better understand glaze
chemistry and firing then Bravo!! If the resaon for using a glaze that
looks like salt but is not salt-fired is to emulate something out of my
reach, then I think I am pursuing the wrong direction. If I have an
electric kiln only and then I have to deal with those limitationa and
accept them (until I can change them). There is a huge wealth of knowledge
that can be gain about glazes that I can fire in a electric kiln.
Don't be discouraged - make great pots and find a salt kiln to fire. Then
you will understand salt and have salt-fired work.
David McBeth, MFA
Associate Professor of Art
330 B Gooch Hall
Department of Art, Dance and Theatre
University of Tennessee at Martin
Martin, Tennessee 38238