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newbie! glaze calculation, pencil & paper, or computer program

updated fri 29 apr 05


Maxwell, Deborah on thu 28 apr 05

Hello All,

I am one of those newbie people who was not taught glaze and their
functions. Each day I have my nose in a book to learn and discover as I
go, but it's an extremely overwhelming arena.

I have borrowed many books from the library and the last one by Robin
Hopper, on glazes was way over my head. I did glean many tips for my use
and understanding but maybe another time it could be of value.

At the moment, I've started out with a base glaze and adding oxides and
stains to sample the different results. These basics will lead me on to
bigger and better things.

In the future I would love to take a class and learn the paper and
pencil way and to graduate to the software. Please keep posting, all
this knowledge does help for us beginners.

Kimball, Michigan

-----Original Message-----
From: Clayart [mailto:CLAYART@LSV.CERAMICS.ORG] On Behalf Of Lili
Sent: Wednesday, April 27, 2005 4:15 PM
Subject: Glaze calculation, pencil & paper, or computer program

Despite my Basic Internet glaze Course, I am not arguing pro-domus here.

But there are two considerations.

Too many people never are TAUGHT anything about glazes, how they
are made, what of, what the process is and so on. These are the
unfortunate souls
who write in : " They had a nice blue glaze in my evening class,they
share the recipe...does anyone have it." Or "How do I make an xyz
(Parenthetically I "amazed" a new fellow teacher once by
telling her just to photocopy my notebooks....She had studied with an
apparently well-known woman in NJ who thought glaze recipes were state

So these people have no idea what is in a glaze, what ingredients do,
what the combo is and so on. Those people need to read the basic books
try with pencil and paper to learn to understand what is being talked

I see no point recommending a computer program to such people. Programs
cost money. Rightly so. They must be hell on wheels to work out and
BUT I do not think that every newby needs to spend that $--no matter how
priceworthy the product.

After these people have learned a bit they either will want a program or
not. Did I say "Or NOT"? Yes. Because a lot of potters are not
interested in glaze qua glaze but just a covering for their pots. I do
know why they need more than a pencil/paper knowledge, enough for them
figure out what went wrong with their glaze stops " working".

For those who want to "do" glazes seriously a program (more than one?)
a great great boon. Besides the Natzlers there have been other potters
have worked together--one on the pots themselves, the other on glazes.
everyone is equally interested in both areas.

Yes. I invariably argue on the side of frugality. I "was" with Bonnie
we made our own tools, and I still make most of my tools out of scrap.
we built our wheels and like that. Potting was reasonably cheap. Today
this has disappeared and tools cost a bundle, and so does all else in
I would rather not urge newbies to expenditure.

Yours, as cheaply as possible,

Lili Krakowski

Be of good courage

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