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sharing glazes and the book

updated tue 21 feb 06


primalmommy on sun 19 feb 06

As you pointed out, R&J have already said -- last summer, in fact --
that they appreciated our courtesy in waiting, and we no longer need to
keep their published glazes from M^6 off the public forum.

Free glazes? The truth is, I have never asked for glaze info from ANY
potter and been turned down. Not in real life, at art shows, at guilds,
at workshops or on line. Nor have I hoarded glazes. I don't know potters
who do, though I hear stories.

There are more glazes in the clayart archives, listed by type and color,
than I could mix in a lifetime. Alisa in Denmark answered my posts night
after night (for free!) when I was obsessing over glaze tests one
winter, and John H's frogpond website was the source of the first glazes
I ever mixed (and two of my current workhorses.) My friend who has been
a potter for decades got his hands on the book and ran hundreds of glaze
tests, making a whole new palette of safe glazes for himself -- about
which we exchange notes. I'm not sure I live in this world where glazes
are jealously hoarded, so I don't really get what all the shouting is

And why the resentment of people who make money doing what they are good
at, offering a service, working hard to make something useful? My dad
always says, "Friends want you to be successful... but not TOO
successful". He also says, "Business is for making money. If you want
friends, go to the beach."

I can't imagine Ron and John will be inspired by your post to sit down
and type out all the recipes in their book for clayart. Not because they
are busy lighting their cigars with our hard earned money and laughing
diabolically at our pleas, but because it would involve several chapters
of typing to put it in context.

The book is not just a cookbook with list of recipes.

There are several different base glazes -- which can be fired in
combination with different colorants -- on different clays and with
different cooling ramps, -- providing very different results. There ARE
a few named/pictured glazes in the book, but they are just examples of
what results you might find while experimenting with different colorants
within (given) safe, stable ranges. They are meant to be a starting
point for potters who want to master the entire craft, not just the pot

Personally, I don't think it would be very nice to give out lists of
ingredients without providing the background information to give potters
some control over the variables, the decision making, and the whys and

Potters who want a quick easy glaze that they can't understand or alter
are better off buying premixed mystery glazes, especially if they don't
know how to handle ingredients safely. Potters who want to understand
how to make a glaze more this or less that, need the book, not just the

Potters who don't want to be embarrassed when an uneducated guess sends
a pot out into the public that leaches color or crazes or shivers need
more than a list of ingredients. Potters who want to understand how to
fire kilns more efficiently, and potters who want to be able to repeat
their best results every single time, need more text than anybody is
willing to type in an email.

I'll get out of the way now, as I have had my say and would hate to get
trampled by the horses in a dramatic charge to free the imprisoned
glazes. The whole thing seems kind of silly to me. It seems we have
plenty of information... just not much understanding.

Yours, Kelly in Ohio
(Who has no financial ties to M^6, and no secret pact with R&J, though I
respect their chemistry-nerd knowledge base and chatted with both, for
the first time, last year at NCECA.)

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