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your critique on chappell's glaze book

updated thu 7 aug 03


Elzbieta Sekula on wed 6 aug 03

Could I please ask your opinions on the book "The Potter's Complete Book of
Clays and Glazes by Chappell?"
Thanks, Elzbieta

Dave Finkelnburg on wed 6 aug 03

Dear Elzbieta,
Back in my personal dark ages of glaze knowledge, when I was even more
of a newbie than I am now, when I was in the stage of potting that any
recipe was a good recipe because it was better than nothing, which was what
I had, I found Chappell, laid out some serious money for it, and spent a lot
of time with it. It was mostly a disappointment.
I have a better perspective, now, on Chappell. Its' blessing, and its'
limitation, is it's filled with recipes. It's a cook book. What I lacked
at the time was the knowledge to modify, "tweak" if you will, those recipes
for my clay, my materials, my circumstances. So I became frustrated with
many hit-and-miss glaze tests that were disappointments.
Now I see I learned a lot in the 8 months or so I spent almost daily
mixing glazes from Chappell. I see the volume still has all sorts of papers
sticking out the top, marking important recipe pages. I learned about glaze
suspenders, and hardeners, and got a general idea of what materials make up
glazes, and in what proportions they work in glazes, and which colorants to
use and in what proportion, as a start.
Fortunately for me, I soon found glaze calculation software (Insight in
my case) and began to create my own glaze recipes. If I had to start off
now, I would do well to buy "Stoneware Glazes" and 'Revealing Glazes," both
by Ian Currie, and "Mastering Cone 6 Glazes" by Hesselberth and Roy, and one
of the several glaze calculation programs available.
Chappell is a recipe approach. The recipes are somewhat dated, in some
cases, too. It's fine as long as you don't lean too heavily on it and
become dependent on his recipes. Learn to make your own!
Good glazing!
Dave Finkelnburg, off for a much-needed vacation in the mountains of
north Idaho. (BIG grin)

----- Original Message -----
From: "Elzbieta Sekula"
> Could I please ask your opinions on the book "The Potter's Complete Book
> Clays and Glazes by Chappell?"