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the ron and john book

updated sun 21 jul 02


primalmommy on sat 20 jul 02

Not to chime in on somebody else's discussion, but have been thinking
about the Mastering Cone 6 book, and some of us were discussing it at
ACC, so here are a few thoughts:

I have a stack of cookbooks in my kitchen. There are some old favorites
in every one that prevent me from giving them to charity, but as time
goes by they are less useful. Who uses lard anymore, given what we know
about health hazards? Or raw eggs? A lot of us gave up deep fat frying,
and not many have the time my farm grandma took to make a meal.

I have old glaze books too, or chapters of books related to glaze. But
there is a generation of new potters -- actually a constant, renewable
stream -- who are just now learning how to make glazes... or tiring of
buying them. Folks who are just reaching that place in the learning

And a lot of us are working at home, with electric kilns. And we're
serious potters.

Why in the world would we learn to make glazes with gertley borate? Or
albany slip? Why would we knowingly expose ourselves (and our families,
our customers, their families) to toxic chemicals, or guess about
whether a hand-me-down glaze works, based on somebody's highly
scientific opinion that "it hasn't killed me yet"?

Some of the books I have are over my head, at least for now. I suspect
Ron and John had a specific audience in mind for their book, and maybe
my mostly female, mostly my age and older, kiln-in-the-garage peers are
it. But I know of one potter -- a man who has been at this a long time
-- who has gotten so discouraged with substitutions and new information
about toxicity that he has latched onto this book and is starting fresh.
When I last saw him he had several cases of jelly size ball canning jars
with rings and lids, and was preparing about 100 test batches.

I'm not trying to sell books, but the stuff in the book is a starting
point from which we can experiment and develop our own look... and not
be stuck with ONLY bright shiny colors... and not have to be an
astrophysicist to understand the science behind it.

Just my point of view.

Yours, Kelly back in Ohio

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