mel jacobson on thu 20 sep 07
one of the sure fire concepts that
ivor, ron, john and many others propose
is proper melting of any glaze.
in some ways, it is the interpretation
of what is a melted cone? what is the
exact temperature and time allotted to any
it is part of the equation of getting a really
well matured, beautiful glaze on any pot.
because i fire a great deal of rhodes 32/mel's variety
with added silica and rutile/titanium...i tend to
fire to very close to cone 11.
i cannot tolerate under fired/soft cone 10.
and, because i always down fire at least two hours
the rutile has a chance to help the glaze crystallize.
it is that crystal/moving/almost hare's fur quality that makes
the glaze a winner. the most heard comment from customers
and friends....`the glaze moves, almost giving it a landscape
quality...like the subtle look of a swamp at dawn.`
it is the observation of what makes a glaze perfect after
40 years of firing the same formula, and basically the same
and i tell folks that want to use the glaze.
1. iron bearing clay.
2. layer the glaze with a rich oxide
under glaze. i use three thin layers.
always top the final layer with base rhodes32. i never
use a rich oxide glaze on the surface.
3. fire to near cone 11. in other words cone 11 at 2/3 o'clock..
and fire in that 9-12 hour range. don't rush the firing.
4. down fire/or slow cool between 1800f and 1900f.
5. and, without question, the glaze needs long duration, medium, consistent
reduction. (sounds like a perfect shino firing.)
like all things ceramic. details, and consistency of glaze, clay body,
time in the kiln, slow cooling...and hit the mark of full cone.
as i have matured as a potter, and listen to clayart friends that
i respect a great deal...my pots are getting better and better.
rhodes32/with variation has improved.
what i have learned from ron roy, john hesselbreth and hank murrow has
been life changing. what i have learned from my dear friend nils lou
about kilns and firing have been earth shaking.
and, without question..the learning about details and keeping those
details in play...has a great deal to do with kurt wild. of course having
that tiny tsk.tsk.sound from behind me as i unload a kiln of bad pots
tends to make me humble. or, as sharlene is oft saying...`melvin, have
you lost all sense of reason?`
Clayart page link: http://www.visi.com/~melpots/clayart.html