[Clayart] one kiln, many firing techniques

Terry Lazaroff terrylazaroff at gmail.com
Wed Aug 23 19:24:44 UTC 2023

Hi Mel; 

Thank you for the updates.  You are 88, I just turned 80.  I still spend about 4 hours a day in my studio.  Don’t know what I am going to do when downsizing comes around.  A new public studio opened in the mall.  Beautiful set up.   I hope they succeed, because if I have to move away from my house and studio, I will have to find such a studio.

Keep of potting, you are an inspiration.

PS.  1001Pots is over now.  Great year even with the record wet days.   

Sent from my iPad

> On Aug 23, 2023, at 2:21 PM, mel jacobson <melpots at mail.com> wrote:
> 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
> reduction.
> 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
> rim.
> 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.
> Mel
> website: www.melpots.com
> www.melpots.com/CLAYART.HTML

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