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Val Cushing Handbook?

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Is anyone familiar with the Val Cushing Handbook?


What are its merits and demerits for a beginning cone 6 Potter?



I think a better introduction to glaze chemistry is John Hesselbreth's Mastering Cone 6 Glazes. Obviously its the temperature range you're working in, so there's that, but it also approaches the whole process in a way that is approachable and complete. Val's book is a good resource once you have some idea of what you're doing with glaze materials, the recipes in it aren't all good right off the pages, but they are often good starting points to begin testing from.

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I was recently told that The Cushing Handbook was one of the best for a wide variety of ceramic info and being that I am a book nut (and don't have this book) I want on a search for the book. One look at the Amazon prices and I decided I could do with out the Handbook as their prices at that time were over $150. Shortly there after I found the book on Alibris, a signed copy for $60 and 'with a coupon, it was even less. I was thrilled at my savings and purchased it - am still going thru the book and am more than happy with the info I am finding. Several days ago as I was 'searching' I visited Val Cushing's website and found this gem that I will pass on to those who might be interested or become interested in the book -


the link to the page is http://juliagalloway.com/field-guide/chapter-12-pdf-downloads/val-cushing-handouts/


Directly below the picture on this page it reads:

The Val Cushing Clay book (bright orange cover) is a must! It is on sale for $25 plus $3 shipping/handling at the Alfred Pharmacy 607.587.9222, 36 North Main Street, Alfred, NY 14802 and at Kinfolk Natural Grocery 607.587.8840 14W. University Street, Alfred NY 14602. It can also be purchased at Amazon.com. For orders of more than three books, please contact Val and Elsie Cushing directly through www.valcushing.com


Now that is an even better deal! What a good way to spend less than $30 on a wealth of info!





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I like the following books on glazing for someone just starting the journey.


1) Daniel Rhodes Clay and Glazes for the Potter will help with the intuitive stuff and give you basics.

2) Mastering cone 6 Glazes has some great recipes.

3) Richard Zakins Electric kiln ceramics was my bible for a few years.

4) Robin Hopper's book (s) The Ceramic Spectrum and the subsequent editions are my "go to" books.

5) http://digitalfire.com/index.html has links to pages of information to help you learn after you start and need to troubleshoot.


I've been a collector of ceramic books for about 30 yrs now and I still use these resources on an everyday basis.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Val Cushings handbook was $32.13 delivered from Alfreds Pharmacy as noted in Diz's links above. I ordered it last week with a phone call and it came straight away. Great book for low-midrange and high fire. Good book for students new and old.


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I have had the Cushing handbook for a very long time. I didn't find it all that useful. Lots of recipes for various temperatures, slips, clay bodies and glazes. I do use his underglaze recipe but I got that from a friend before I got the book. I like other books for more discussion of technical information. How things work and why.
Britt's High Fire is a good new one to come along.
I got Leach's A Potters Book in 1968. I have an extensive library from 40+ years of collecting books.
Rhodes Clay and Glazes for the Potter was a college textbook.
Nelson's Intro to C was the text for my first ceramics course.
I built kilns before Olsen's or Rhodes kiln books were ever available. But the are good. I have Soldner's book on kiln building and the AP Green refractory guide.
I enjoy reading new technical books as they come out. I like Michael Bailey's book on Cone 6 Glazes. His book on Oriental Glazes has examples of my work and ^6 glazes in that book. They are the only ^6 glazes in the book. Most are ^9 or 10.
Britt is starting work on a book on ^6 glazes for both oxidation and reduction. This follows his presentation at NCECA.

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