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dave finkelnburg glaze workshop

updated tue 29 apr 03


Lee Burningham (Box Elder High School) on mon 28 apr 03


Dave Finkelnburg spent some time teaching a glaze workshop with some of
my students at Box Elder High School last Friday and Saturday. What a
blast for 15 students to get down and dirty with a real-life glaze guru
from our own Clayart list. Dave is amazing with the wealth of
information he presented, with the clarity that he offered it, and
making the whole process very understandable for the beginning
sophomores all the way up to high school seniors with a much greater
ceramics background and keeping it exciting and interesting for a
college student with a considerable pottery foundation. Hands-on
activities mixed with the academic presentation kept everybody wanting
to see what came next.

There were test glazes to mix, Seger formulas to discuss, test buttons
fired of all sorts of glaze materials. How many of us as Clayart
understand Seger formulas or even care? Dave has these students wanting
more of the analytical processes behind glaze calculation as well as the
down and dirty of mixing them up, testing settling rates, comparing
suspension agents like macaloid, Epsom salts, and bentonite. Now I'm
staying real busy just trying to keep up with the kids and their wild
ideas about glaze formulation and showing them how to try them all out.
Dave only cranked up the level of my work load but I can't think of
anything else I would rather be doing.

I think Dave was using my students as a test group for future workshops.
Better get in line, whatever clay guild, co-op, or group studio you
belong to, and get Dave signed up to teach you the same stuff he
presented last weekend. Not only was it a tremendous boost for my
students, it caught me up in the excitement of mixing and testing new
glazes and glaze combinations above and beyond what was already
happening in the classroom.

The absolute crowning achievement of the entire weekend was the
concerted demand by all the students involved, "We want more of the
Seger formula." These are not the shining academic lights of the high
school, just pottery students. Dave has lit up this school studio with a
fire of glaze excitement that I hope will carry over for some time to
come. I plan on putting Dave to work on a regular basis, yearly, or
every other year at least, to spread his knowledge of glazes and glaze
formulation to keep my students on fire and pushing the envelope with
what they know and what more they can learn by applying the principles
that Dave has so thoroughly and entertainingly taught them.

Kudos to Dave Finkelnburg!

There is a Raku Bash/Spring Fling/Clay Olympics scheduled for May 9th,
here at Box Elder High School. All Clayarters are welcome. School ends
at 2:30 pm, festivities begin right after. Come earlier if you want.
Potluck. Bring pots to fire in the raku or the Kazegama wood-fire kiln.
We will have a pit-fire as well. Lots of fun and camaraderie for all.
Call me for more information at 435 734 4840 (school) or 435 881 0151
(cell). Use this as an opportunity to talk to some of the students that
Dave has so capably corrupted, get the real low-down on what the
students think and feel about his glaze workshop.

Lee Burningham
Pottery grunt
Box Elder High School