Mid-range oxidation has come a long way in the past 10-15 years, and gained a lot of respect. Prior to that is was considered the realm of hobby potters, or was 'settled' on by folks who couldn't access a gas kiln. Colleges and universities worked in gas, and therefore it was considered 'better'. Many of our historical references were also high fire, like the Japanese and Chinese glazes that have become staples like shino, tenmoku, celadon, etc. The only people that were really doing any sort of glaze work in mid-range oxidation were the commercial glaze companies, because in general, hobby potters were not doing their own glaze formulation and mixing. Then along came the Mastering Cone 6 Glazes book, which gave hobbyists the knowledge and tools to start developing their own glazes. Combined with the increased strictness of zoning rules and building codes, the cost of gas, concern for the environment, and the development of digital electric kilns, more and more and more people have started looking at mid-range oxidation firings as a legitimate way to make pots.
We now have some really wonderful work being fired in electric kilns that is virtually indistinguishable from gas reduction work, or that is very good without looking like reduction fired work. I think the idea that mid range potters are always trying to mimic high fired reduction work is inaccurate (this is the 'up on my soapbox' section of this post). Personally, I'm just trying to make good pots with beautiful glazes, be they reduction-looking or not. I think we need to get away from this idea that pots have to look a certain way and get to the idea that pots simply need to be good, regardless of how they're fired. Do we add granular manganese to clay bodies so they look like reduced clay bodies? Yes, and no. They do look like that, but it's because it adds a richness to the glazes, not necessarily because we yearn to fire a gas kiln. It's kind of a semantics argument, but you get my idea. How about instead of saying it looks like reduction fired, we simply say that speckles look good, regardless of how they are achieved. If someone slow cools their gas kiln, do we say they're trying to mimic cone 6 electric firings, where slow cooling is very common? Many of the old school fuel-burning folks still have a snobbery about high fire reduction, but they need to get with the program, IMHO. The vast majority of kids graduating from college and grad school will not have the ability to build or buy or set up a gas kiln. Electric kilns are less expensive, easier to install, and don't violate most building codes. I'm not saying it's a better way to fire, but simply that for most people it's the most realistic option for firing. A friend of mine who teaches at a university has recently switched the emphasis of his program to mid range electric firing for that very reason. He will still teach them to fire the gas kilns, but he wants his students to have the knowledge to do whatever method of firing is available to them when they graduate.
15 years ago I never would have accepted cone 6 oxidation as an option, because I was taught that serious potters burned fuel. I wasted tens of thousands of dollars and countless hours of my time when I opened my business due to believing that mantra. Now I say do what you want to do with the resources you have. Ig that's wood or gas or oil or electric, so be it. Just do it well.