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Recent Funny Glaze Story


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#1 Brian Reed

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 05:29 PM

So I am a beginning potter and have recently put together my first studio and I have some rules for myself. One of them is that I will only use and formulate my own glazes. There is nothing wrong with commercial glazes, but I just made the choice to do my own. It forces me to learn many things about firing and the different elements. I am lazy so if I used premixed or powdered commercial glazes I would never learn. I have other rules, but for this story this is the only relevant one.

Using the "Clay and Glazes" Rhodes book I have learned a ton of information and I was using this new found knowledge to formulate some glazes. One was a glossy red I was attempting to make and researched all the ingredients and volumes by weight and I ran the recipe by my clay mentor. I proudly showed him the recipe and expected him to look it over and say exactly what he said with all the others. "Looks about right", perhaps a little of this or a little of that maybe rethink the feldspar I was using and trying a different one, those types of guiding gestures. When I showed him this glossy red recipe he looked at it and sneered, he said, that is not red. I know now that he was right, but I said sure it is... I have Iron, and copper, and some tin...etc, you get the idea and you can already see my mistake. He happily let me think I knew what I was talking about and I went to mix and test.

I tested on a few pots and some stilts I made. I placed some in my kiln at home and some test stilts in the large kiln at his studio, both ^10 reduction. I came back baffled why the red did not work and just knew he was going to give me the "I told you so" kind of speech and things like you learned the hard way. When I came to show him before I could even open my mouth, he jumped up and said, "Did you see that wonderful "red" glaze you made?" I thought he was making fun and I was humbled, but after a few awkward moments he went into how great the glaze was and sure I wanted red, but it was a beautiful glaze that he said looked like maple syrup. And in fact it was beautiful....

Perhaps the story is not interesting to many, but being there in the exchange, firstly made an impression on me and secondly was ironic.... Keep practicing and sometimes the mistakes are wonderful.
Brian Reed

Throwing down in Washington State

http://www.reedpottery.com

Northwest Clay Club

#2 SmartsyArtsy

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 11:12 PM

It is all about EXPECTATIONS. I still have a tea bowl/test pot that was very disappointing when I unloaded it 24 years ago. I had just begun developing glazes. Well, my teacher was so excited about it; she loved both the visual and feel of it. It sits at eye level in my studio, reminding me of this story. The only difference is that for at least 23 yrs, 11 months, I have been in love with it!

Keep playing.

#3 yedrow

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 11:54 PM

It seems to me that our minds can only see a few things. When we look at our work, we see only see parts of it. But any given pot has a million things to be seen and experienced. Sometimes it takes a different perspective to see that. I know I have had this happen often. perhaps that's the best part of working around several other people.

Joel.




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