search  current discussion  categories  glazes - crazing & crackle 

crazed pots, and potters

updated thu 2 aug 01


Bob Hanlin on tue 31 jul 01

It seems to me that we, as a society, have become so cockeyed "health"
consience that we loose a lot of what makes the world such and interesting
place. We're afraid of a bit of barium in a glaze, a crazed cup makes up
blanch so white that we almost pass out. We are afraid to breath in our
work areas. It's enough to make a person puke! And I would but I'm afraid
that I wouldn't clean it all up and it might make me sick.

Bob Hanlin

Tommy Humphries on tue 31 jul 01

I remember eating an my Grandparents house when I was a kid, they had some
old whiteware dinner plates and bowls that had been handed down for several
generations...they were meticulously crazed over every square centimeter of
the surface. My Mom says that they were like that when she was a
kid...probably been that way since the mid 1800's. I have a couple of them,
and several cousins have some...use them all the time. My Grandparents
lived well into their 90's Pop died at 99...probably from something eaten
off those crazed plates.

I guess there might be a subtle difference in the crazing from the effect of
time on well fired ware, and the crazing from a well fired but poor fitting
glaze, but it would probably be insignificant...if the plate becomes
cracked, that is another story, as that is a much larger area for germs to
live, though 99% will be killed with a good soak in soapy water, or in a
dishwasher. Poorly fired ware is dangerous, crazed or not.

Had a customer bring in a tea cooler last week that had developed a leak...
made that pot almost 15 years ago. It was heavily crazed both inside and out
from pouring hot tea into it, nicely stained too. At the customers request
we refired it to clean it up and fix the crazes...(the leak was from a bad
spigot washer), and where the tea stains were there is now a fine almost
invisible reminder of where the crazing had been. The cooler could pass as
new...what a shame.

Hmmm, I wonder if I should check those old plates for lead glazes...might be
why my Great-grandma died at 95.

Tommy Humphries

`You know, it's at times like this, that I really wish I'd listened to what
my mother told me when I was young.'
`Why, what did she tell you?'
`I don't know, I didn't listen.'"
(Douglas Adams)