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chappell's book

updated fri 8 aug 03


Craig Martell on wed 6 aug 03

Good evening:

Recipe books are ok if you eventually gain the knowledge of why the recipes
work, or why they don't. If all of us worked from Chappell's book the
glaze world might become very generic. It probably will anyway. Oxidation
folks will make floating blue pots and reduction people will make shino.

I think that a lot of very good work is done by people who like and
understand the entire system and process of ceramics. If we have a
knowledge of clay, glaze, raw materials, equipment, kilns and firing, then
we stand a better chance of making individual work that is suitable for the
purpose it was designed for. Oh, then you have to learn marketing so you
can sell the stuff.

Maybe all the art and design stuff should be handled by classes in the "art
department" and all the technical stuff could be taught in "industrial
arts". Sort of like wood and metal shop was in high school.

regards, Craig Martell Hopewell, Oregon

Stephani Stephenson on wed 6 aug 03

Well, just call me gabby today
Dave Finkelburg's post sent me down memory lane
I remember finding Chappell's book, a used copy in Powell's
in Portland OR.
I was ecstatic, as it had more recipe's than any book I had ever
I tried a lot of them, and most of them looked awful.
very boring, I thought, couldn't find any
magic wonderful glazes there. Made an instant judgment that the
book had 'awful ' glazes.
didn't know much at all about clay or glazes at the time except
that I
did know how to mix the ingredients, sieve them and apply to
I thought that's all there was to it!
Then Chappell went unused for years, except for some of the
tables in the glossary, which I referred to
Now the binding has deteriorated and it is dog-eared and
penciled and
getting kind of loosey goosey to handle.
but Chappell's book is getting a bit of a rebirth. now I look at
some of the recipes
and see similarities to glazes I have learned about from the
ground up.
I still have a copy of 'Joy of Cooking' too and 'Betty Crocker'
I don't use them anymore, actually I think they are in storage
but I enjoy looking through them,
spatters of old batter
mark some of the pages
pages and recipes I tried
when I did my first turkey, when I tried a dessert
still remember the trepidation making an 'egg nog flip'
haven't cooked from a recipe in decades.

The recipe approach will give you something to do in the short
run, which is OK
it will get you cooking, but to be a real cook
you'll be better off to try and get a larger understanding,
a framework, so that the pieces will fit, not just be scattered
unrelated pieces.

Stephani Stephenson