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book recommendation -- this reminds me....

updated wed 13 sep 00


Anji Henderson on tue 12 sep 00

This reminds me that I was going to tell ya'll...

"The Extruder Book" by Daryl Baird -- Excellent!!!

I am not a big reader of printed text BUT believe this
-- I sat down to look at this book and dang if I
didn't read all five million pages of it in one
sitting... Ok fine it was only 282.. I usually NEVER
read intro's or forewords, but I did!! I started
reading it and it was like a really really long good
post.. That's probably what kept me hanging in... I
however did not read all the words of the
demonstration section of the book, I just looked at
the pictures.. But, still it's an incredibly long book
for a person that reads like I do to get through in
one setting, heck I get irritated and have to come
back to long letters sent in the mail.. Hummmm wonder
why I can sit here for hours and read read read but if
it's on paper it doesn't work that way -- mum until
this book..

Well that's my 2 cents : )

--- Nina Jones wrote:
> Hi, Sammy! Good books:
> Spirit of Clay by Robert Piepenburg,
> The Craft and Art of Clay by Susan Peterson,
> Hands in Clay by Speight/Toki,
> Functional Pottery by Robin Hopper,
> The Ceramic Spectrum by Robin Hopper,
> and Raku-A Practical Approach by Steve Branfman
> If you have to start with just one, I would
> recommend Spirit of Clay
> by Robert Piepenburg. It's a good all-around book
> and Piepenburg is
> so passionate-- his love of the medium gives this
> book a uniquely
> personal approach, almost like learning from a
> mentor.
> I came from a background of "hobby" ceramics,
> dealing exclusively
> with slipcast ware. Learning on a military post, we
> learned how to
> pour and maintain molds, as the staff was only there
> to teach and
> fire, not do the work for us. Had a brief
> experience with the wheel
> in the beginning, but the instructor, plus the
> impatience of youth,
> pushed me to slip-casting and away from the wheel.
> It took me ten
> years to make my way back.
> When I found that I NEEDED to be more deeply
> involved, needed to make
> that transition from slipcast work to actual
> "pottery," I had to go
> out and get some clay. I started with a 12 pound
> log. Played with
> it, smushed it around, handbuilt some little pots,
> little people, etc.
> Clay play. Fell SO in love. That is the best
> step. You can't make
> the transition from slipcasting by changing the type
> of slip you cast
> with. You have to put the molds and the bucket of
> slip down (at least
> temporarily) and pick up that log of clay. Find
> what you like doing:
> figurative modeling, slab work, coil building,
> throwing on a potter's
> wheel, etc.
> Taking a class at a community college or art center,
> if possible, is
> a really excellent way to find your way as well. If
> not possible,
> there are videos available that will at least give
> you a visual
> demonstration of the techniques you read about.
> The books I listed above are really excellent.
> Throwing is my
> passion, but re-reading these books keeps me open to
> all the forming
> techniques and creative possibilities with clay.
> I'm sure you'll get lots of help and advice from the
> list. Let me
> know if I can be of any help.
> FYI: ROUGHLY, reduction means drawing oxygen from
> the kiln
> environment by manipulation of the fire, or by
> introducing flamables,
> which "reduces" the amount of oxygen circulating
> throughout the kiln.
> Mainly achieved in fuel-burning kilns (gas, wood),
> but can, under
> carefully monitored circumstances and at the expense
> of your kiln
> elements, be done in an electric kiln (with an
> excellent ventillation
> system, preferably in an area open to the outside).
> And VERY briefly: Raku is a firing technique that
> is usually done in
> a raku kiln, but can also be done in a regular kiln.
> The glazed ware
> is fired to a certain temperature (usually
> low-temp), pulled from the
> kiln as soon as it reaches that temp and plunged
> into a "post-fire
> reduction container" filled with some type of
> flamable material
> (sawdust, leaves, paper). Sometimes the piece is
> then "quenched" is a
> container of water, or by spraying water on the
> piece. The clay used
> to form these pieces has to be able to withstand the
> thermal shock of
> this technique, so one would either create such a
> clay body, or
> purchase commercially available "raku" clay (Great
> Lakes Clay in
> Carpentersville, IL is GREAT. So many clay bodies,
> so little time
> (:>)).
> Nina D. Jones
> Southside Chicago
> @
> >>> Sammy Shuford 09/09/00
> 05:05PM >>>
> Will someone please recommend a good "starter" book.
> What I want to learn is:
> 1) Terms like "reduction" and "Raku"
> 2) Glazes, how they work, and how to formulate
> 3) And how to progress from a low fire slip caster
> to a potter.
> If a good book comes to mind, please take time to
> email me,
> or via this list!
> In reference to number 3, is slip casting Stoneware
> a good step to
> take?
> Thanks
> Sammy J Shuford
> Send postings to
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> Send postings to
> You may look at the archives for the list or change
> your subscription
> settings from
> Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be
> reached at

Good art does not have to match your sofa!!

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