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vpc and insight and thoughts on ian currie workshop

updated wed 25 apr 01


PAGCarr@AOL.COM on mon 23 apr 01

Hi, Ian!

>Don't forget that the Mac version IS available - a few bugs, but
>still a lot better than fighting with VPC (terriers aside). A
>suggestion - get it and try it while you gnaw at Windows. You might
>give up the fight. I have not used the windows version since I got
>the prototype Mac version.

I don't quite understand about the Mac version of Insight: Tony told me in a
recent email (early April) that it is not quite ready. I have downloaded the
demo version from the DigitalFire website. Is this what you the version you
are talking about? Isn't this just a demo version? I will take your advise,
and try it in the next few days. Clay comes first, though! UPDATE: Tony
has just emailed me that the Mac programming is moving along well, and that
the Mac version may only be a couple of weeks away.

>I would love to hear your comments about the Ian Currie workshop and
>surfaces. I am using his blending techniques some of the time to
>play around.

>Best of luck


The Ian Currie workshop was absolutely seminal to my understanding of glaze
development. I have a technical background, read many books about glaze
development, and have been fairly successful in finding glazes that I like,
BUT the surface of the piece (pot or sculpture) has often been a separate
process from the visualization and building of the piece (What I am trying
unsuccessfully to say is something like this: I usually say, I think this
pot would look good in kaki, or black, rather than, the pot I am going to
make will have this shape and this surface - meaning color and visual
texture). I don't think that other types of artists have such an issue for
technical reasons. If they want a blue violet with areas moving toward
chartreuse, they paint it, or weave it, or dye it, etc. We use underglaze
painting, or a few good glazes from our repertoire, or better yet, paint the
surface. I want to feel that I am not limited by the number of glazes that I
know. Now, I honestly believe that I can say that I want the surface to be
(for example) sugary, but not dry, OR breaking between gloss and matt (and I
fire in oxidation) with a lot of surface texture and change in color, OR
really anything. The reason is Ian's grid. I can read it like a road map.
Since glazes are composed of 3 classes of compounds/minerals (alumina,
silica, and flux) by holding the flux constant and varying the alumina and
silica you can explore what types of glazes are possible using this flux (and
additive/colorants). In other words, I have seen what kinds of glazes I can
obtain by using one flux system and varying the alumina (clay) and silica
(flint) ... a whole family, and a whole palette of glazes from one flux
system. This can be repeated for any flux system that you want to try, and
for each one, you have another palette. The possibilities for my work have
expanded by several orders of magnitude! In addition, and maybe most
importantly, I can see (I am a visual person) what these glazes look like on
my clay body, under my firing conditions, and what a change in alumina or
silica will make toward eliminating the crazing ... or enhancing it, if I
choose. I know where to work if I want a stable glaze, and what it will look
like. Now the glaze calculation programs can be correlated with what I
observe. And I can jump off from there. It is an incredible gift, a real
bag of riches! ... thank you, Ian Currie!

If you have the opportunity, Ian, I would strongly suggest taking the
workshop. It makes everything in Ian Currie's books, and as far as I am
concerned, all of glaze development, so much clearer!

My best,
Paulette Carr