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updated sun 6 jan 02


Ceramic Design Group on sat 5 jan 02

I have been following this thread since it began, and while I do not wish to
join in as I am not a legal authority, I am not a lawyer or do I play one
on TV, I just thought that I would mention some thoughts that might be

Recently, there was a post regarding a note book that might have been from
KCAI. I know that book, as well as the ones from Anderson Ranch, RISD,
Alfred, and a great number of places of higher education. In fact, I have
all of them, and there are probably thousands of recipes in them. Coupling
all of these with what I have accumulated in well over 30 years in this
field, including my own, others, Clayart, etc., I would theoretically have
an untold number of thousands at my disposal. Honestly, I don't use any of

There is no substitute for doing research and learning how materials work
when heated. It is not necessary to be a glaze chemist to learn a basic
understanding and to educate oneself in some basic knowledge. Then apply
this knowledge to your specific situation. I'm somewhat in a quandary when I
see glazes posted on the list in that there is a very strong possibility
that these could be anywhere from 2nd to 20th generation formulas and
probably won't work. Witness the many times discussion and recipes for
'Floating Blue" have appeared on this list and the usual whining results.
Tony Hansen, in his books has written that "glazes don't travel well". How
much more do people need? How many more poorly fired kilns with work
destined for the dumpster need be fired?

Some threads have focused on "we need recipes!" What I would posit is that
what you really need are some books, a small inexpensive test kiln, good
coffee, bags of raw materials, and a desire to start with the basics that
have been on this list since its inception and now have culminated, quite
beautifully, with the soon to be published "Mastering Cone 6 Glazes" by Ron
Roy and John Hesselberth. What more need you ask for? How much do you want?
It is all here for the taking, but it is beginning and if you do the work
and put the time in, there is a good chance that you will have the results
you wish for and you glaze goals will be realized.

And yes, I know full well about poorly insulated electric kilns that are
under powered. You can solve this by any number of methods, some of which
have been freely and quite well documented on the list. Don't wait around
for kiln manufacturers to build them for you (with some exceptions).

Listen, as a baby boomer my mother always chided me for looking for
"immediate gratification" and I think that's what I see on this list in more
than a few cases? Like "anyone have a good cone 7 semi matte opaque
chartreuse glaze with lots of surface variation and is stable?" And the
myriad of other postings far too numerous to cite here that perhaps clutter
the archives and provide many a poor firing for the soon to be users?

In my introduction as one of the two "Glaze Doctors" at the Columbus NCECA
a few years ago, I urged the audience to learn some basics and to take
responsibility for your ware, from the clays that go into making the clay
body and the materials that go into making the glaze that sits on top of it.
Take responsibility for your firings by learning and improving on what
already exists and making it better. We all have different requirements but
the starting point has always been and will continue to be sound
fundamentals and the desire to make them not only better, but to work in an
exemplary fashion for each of us in our own particular situation.

Sitting on your ass and waiting for it to happen by fiat is a poor excuse.



Jonathan Kaplan, president
Ceramic Design Group
PO Box 775112
Steamboat Springs CO 80477
voice and fax 970 879-9139

Plant Location:
1280 13th Street Unit 13
Steamboat Springs CO 80487
(please use this address for all deliveries via UPS, comman carrier, Fed Ex,

"Custom design and manufacturing for the ceramic arts, giftware and pottery
industries. Molds, models, and tooling for slip casting, jiggering and
hydraulic pressing. Consultation on clay and glaze formulation, production
systems,firing, and kilns.