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Which glaze class to take ...


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My vote: Katz class is great, and he is a derivative of Alfred University. Sue is a derivative of Katz, really like her as well and she has always provided a good deal of free content that I have followed  for quite a bit. It’s hard not to support her, and she has taken the Katz model and added studio components to it.  I believe Jessica Putnam Phillips still has a Zillion videos on you tube, participates in Clayshare and has developed some very ornate pieces, always pleasant to watch. She may have paid classes these days. John Britt still has a great online presence. Digital fire is still a great free resource. Old knowledge is still valid such  books: Cullen Parmelee, Hasselberth and Roy, John Britt …….. all are valuable learning tools IMO.

The Katz class in clay and glaze chemistry definitely is good to get early, it tends to help in perspective in my view as there are many many theories that run through the clay community. 

Edited by Bill Kielb
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Passingly familiar with both classes. 

Both teachers share the same philosophy, and I believe Sue has worked with the Katz’s as well. They did a presentation together at NCECA a few years ago.

It depends on what level of glaze understanding you need to have in your work. If you’re starting up a production pottery and planning to make a living at it, the Ceramic Materials Workshop is the place to go. It’s $$$, but it’s excellent information. It is literally the advanced class.

Sue’s course that you’ve linked to is still a few hundred dollars, but it’s more affordable. It’s also not as involved, although it will give even intermediate glaze mixers a solid foundation in how to incorporate the chemistry and math in their own work. She also has a really nice intro course if you’ve never mixed a glaze in your life.

In terms of approachability, Sue is very available for technical help, and she does have a moderated facebook page where folks can go to ask questions and get reliable help. You’d get a similar level of assistance here, but from some different faces. 

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@Callie Beller Diesel They're actually the same cost (virtually) - $400 for the Katz class, $397 for Sue McCloud's.  Also Sue recommends taking a class specifically about mixing glazes first for an additional $127.  I'm pretty sure past experience making solutions for med labs puts me ahead on that score (and perhaps my experience as a fairly serious baker, to a lesser extent maybe, but still ...)

As far as I can tell the only difference between the $400 and $600 Katz classes is biweekly zooms where that seems to be built into Sue's class so ... maybe not QUITE identical on that point.

I'm not setting up as a production potter but I do plan on involving myself in some fairly esoteric experimentation once the move is over.  It always seems like I'll be next year in the holy land.  Sure hoping this is the LAST move.

I'm angling for a volunteer situation at the studio here and when I last talked to the studio manager about it he mentioned wanting help in the glaze room so ... could mesh well with a class as a "lab" experience.

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I took a 3 day workshop from Matt Katz in May.  It was great and I left wishing for more more more.  A big plus was coming away with a bare bones working knowledge of glazy.org.  That was very helpful.  I may sign up for one of his classes later, I just knew I didn't have the time right now to do so.  I have enjoyed John Britt's book also.  And because I now know how to analyze the UMF and other info on glazy.org, I can take some of the recipes in John's book and look at them on Glazy with fresh eye.  I have heard of Sue and it seems like any of the sources would be helpful.

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There are some really good videos by the  late Phil Berneburg, geologist and ceramics engineer, from Washington Street Studios. Berneburg covered many aspects of ceramics extremely well, among them Glaze Chemistry, might be a good place to start and the videos are free. First of the chemistry ones linked below. If you are interested in more topics go to the Washington Street Studios YouTube site to find them there. 

 

 

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@PyewacketteSue’s $127 class is intended for people who don’t remember/never understood molar weight from high school chemistry. Which is a valid thing! Not everyone needs it in their daily. Her intro course is meant for someone who has never before mixed a glaze in their life, and really only covers the actual mixing of a glaze, how to read the recipe, and why we sieve things. From things you’ve said on the forum over the last bit, that one is NOT for you. She made that course because on facebook, there’s a lot of folks who start off using commercial glazes, or working in a studio where someone else does that, and they now want to start expanding their knowledge.

From watching their assorted lives/listening to podcasts, I personally prefer Sue’s teaching style to Matt’s. They both love the material, but Sue is more patient and instructive, while Matt is more bombastic*. Sue’s teaching people how to formulate glazes for studio use, and Matt and Rose are doing a lot of work to incorporate colourants into UMF calculation softwares in addition to teaching people about glaze formulation. Sue’s class has lifetime access to her course, while the Katz’s give you 4 months to get through the course, and then you have to pay $20/month to their Patreon to retain access. I don’t know if you can turn the access on and off.

You would come out of either class knowing how to make a durable glaze suitable for food use, how to use glaze calculation software, and how the materials all work together to do what they do. By extension, you could then expand your own knowledge in a self directed way. And if you can make a glaze, you can break it to do more exciting things.

 

 

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On 10/3/2022 at 3:25 PM, Min said:

There are some really good videos by the  late Phil Berneburg, geologist and ceramics engineer, from Washington Street Studios. Berneburg covered many aspects of ceramics extremely well, among them Glaze Chemistry, might be a good place to start and the videos are free. First of the chemistry ones linked below. If you are interested in more topics go to the Washington Street Studios YouTube site to find them there. 

 

 

I love that guy!  I was saddened to discover he had died before I ever found that resource online.

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Min, thank you for sharing the video link, great stuff!  Flahbacks to being a student in Gen Chem! :)

Callie, thank you for the comparison of the glaze mixing classes. I am also in the process of deciding which one to take, so good to have that info. 

Pyewackette, I hope you will let us know which class  you decide to take, and let us know how it goes. 

Best,

Betty

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1 hour ago, Bam2015 said:

Min, thank you for sharing the video link, great stuff!  Flahbacks to being a student in Gen Chem! :)

Callie, thank you for the comparison of the glaze mixing classes. I am also in the process of deciding which one to take, so good to have that info. 

Pyewackette, I hope you will let us know which class  you decide to take, and let us know how it goes. 

Best,

Betty

Well registration for Sue McCleod's class opens tomorrow so ... I'm on it. :unsure:

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I took the clay and glaze chemistry classes from Phil Bernberg at Hood College before he retired. Those were some of the best ceramics classes I ever took. He was helpful, patient, and explained the chemistry at a level that was both thorough and easy to understand. He drew diagrams and showed physical examples of everything. 

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phil never said a word about being ill.  wash st is just around the corner from my house.  a lot closer as the crow flies.   he started the round table discussions as soon as they opened.  he showed examples of awful results of glaze firing and i contributed one of my spectacularly bad ones.   it got added to the box to show the next group.

he told me that not having a chemistry based education meant i was walking on a razor blade and would fall off sometime.   the next time he saw me he said he liked my work.  

the memorial was stuffed with people who knew him.   when bill van gilder walked in, he was covered in clay.  we all agreed it was a tribute to phil that he would appreciate.  lovely man, always generous with his time and advice.

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