[Clayart] one kiln, many firing techniques

mel jacobson melpots at mail.com
Wed Aug 23 18:18:39 UTC 2023

I have been having a joyful spring and summer using my mel6 clay
and 5x20 glazes. Gas fired to cone 7 just starting over.

As some of you understand I am altering my glazes for every firing.
The white is pure white, but other glazes get tweaks. There is not a scale,
just add a tablespoon of colorants.

I alter the reduction for every firing from as close to pure oxy to heavy

I fast fire in about 3 hours and 45 minutes. The kiln holds about 50+ pieces.
At 88 I am not making huge pots. The largest bowls may be as big as a half of
a volleyball. Hundreds of mugs and cereal size bowls. And for those of you that
are on Facebook, I am making lots of "Blates".  That would be a plate with a bowl

My grandson and his wife eat very healthy.  He has been in the CrossFit business
for about 8 years. It includes working out, eating well, and living a booze and drug
free life. They owned three gyms. They are the parents of my namesake..Melvin. He is
now two years old, and a girl baby is on the way.

They love eating salads and pastas that can run off a plate, therefore Blates. He has sold
his business' and is moving on with some new adventures.

I did a basic experiment this week. Fired all my glazes without layers. I fired to
cone 7 no reduction. (The clay body is colored with black iron.)  The basic colors are a rich blue,
green and gold. I also use a brown and black underglaze.

Most of my glazes have tin and copper in them. When I layer glazes and fire with heavy
reduction almost the entire load is soft red to rich copper red. They all variegate
to violet.

My pots are as exciting as I have ever made. I never know the outcome, but it is always
good. I love seeing new colors and textures.

As Ron says, this is not good science, but I do it just for me. I have made tens of thousands of pots
in my life. I now look for serendipity. I am entertaining just me. If a load is crappy
I will throw it out. Start again.

Hay creek friends often show up to fire one of our kilns or do raku. A group of 6 women will
fire the big hard brick salt kiln next week. We do have a joyful group.

I have a nice control group. Colleen is doing a lot of commission work using her/my Minnetonka
studio electric kilns. She measures with great accuracy 5x20, mel6. She now runs the Minnetonka studio.
I have stepped away from that space. We are tweaking all the safety equipment on the big
gas kiln, like new Baso Valves and piping. She will start to use that gas kiln soon.

website: www.melpots.com

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