search  current discussion  categories  books & magazines - books 


updated tue 9 aug 05


mel jacobson on mon 8 aug 05

if we have learned anything here on clayart over the last
10 is to make stable glazes.

add silica. get balance.
glazes that are over loaded with clay/matt are just
not good for basic/everyday practical/functional work.

rhodes32 is a perfect example.
it looks great, it is semi/matt. a simple felspathic
glaze. china clay and dolomite...a touch of whiting.

a few ingredients...easy to make. but, without
question, it lacks silica. i added some..and it needs
a bit more flux. titanium did it for me.

it takes years to make a glaze your own. i would never
call this glaze mel's semi/matt32. it belongs to rhodes.
it is a way of letting the world know of his work and that
of david shaner. every potter has to make variations in whatever
we put on our clay. those variations make it yours.

what clay do you use...what is the color, texture, composition.
what cone...???? how high do you bisque.? how long do you
keep the pot in the glaze bucket? how thick is your glaze????
everything is all important.

that is why i keep saying:
glaze is theory...if you don't have the same temp, clay body, do you replicate someone else...? and why
would you want to?

if you are studying 50 glazes at the same time...well i hope
you plan on living for 200 years.

pick a few ideas. work on them. adjust them...use glaze calc if
you wish...or, pay ron roy a few bucks to help you. i would.
it is worth every dollar.

i have published rhodes32 variations many times. my variations.
that still will not give all the clues to anyone that uses it.
clay body is critical. and that is true of every glaze out there.
what is underneath? and few want to come to grips with that
notion. the interface of clay and glaze.

as david hendley has said....look at your glazes with a jewelers loop.
ron does that all the time. see the spider webs. in most cases,
it is easy to adjust. i did it...a long time ago..just by observing...we did
not have glaze calc in 1970...but we did observe things happening.

there are millions of variations of just a few basic glazes. in so many
ways...glazes are not that complex. just glass makers...coatings.
so many just want a recipe...`hey, don't make this complex..just give
me your years of experience...your recipes..then i can get into the
next show`. it does not work that way.

if you make thousands of pots, thousands...then a few that get hammered
are ok. if you make ten pots a year....and hammer three...well you have
lost everything. it is all relative.

it is like the post about getting a bag of the wrong clay....a bag?
for those that use thousands of pounds of clay a year...well think
how strange that sounds..(not putting anyone down here...but,
it is all relative.) tom wirt, david hendley, tony, richard aerni..think
of clay in tons. i think of clay in thousands of pounds.

that is why it is so hard to discuss things here on clayart...what
one person thinks is a month of work, a lot of someone elses
afternoons work.

from mel/
for gail's year book.