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copper red #2

updated sun 3 aug 08


mel jacobson on fri 1 aug 08

actually, copper red is very easy. i unloaded a
kiln two weeks back with about 60 copper red
pots/glazed and red as hell. the entire 60 where
bright red. just like a coleman ad for geil.
(i know tom laughs like hell at people that think
he fakes red....not at all...easy as can be.)

what i am trying to do, what i aim at is multi color
copper. blue, red, green and whatever else, all on one
pot. that sort of barnum and bailey circus look.

to make it happen one has to have some very hot spots
and a variety of reduction areas in the kiln.
i sort of bag wall, look for cone 12.
then down fire the kiln, or at least re/heat back to
2000F from about 1750F....i want the kiln to cool at
least twice, and sometime three times. just turn one
burner back on...adjust the damper so that you get
limited kiln/heat rise.

some of the most exciting pots i have ever seen come
from the orient, old pots...wood fired...and the pots
are green, red, white and blue. and, that is what i am getting.

just like working with have to have courage and
be able to clean kiln shelves...and throw out the ones
that are running all over. if your kiln and shelves are more
important than the pots...well, nice for you. but, for me...
it is the glaze and wonder of what comes out next.

joe koons was going to set up a copper red/blue project
for me based on the books/notes we got from Grebanier in new york...but
joe got a touch of cancer, a batch of surgery on his body and
bones and just did not have time to get it, i did
it myself. (as it should be.) joe is back to good health, and
snapping at my heels to get more tests done with iron saga2 and
teabowls with shino, oil spot black and red/. phew, now that is
sorta done (will it ever be done? no.)

moving to cobalt water color wash has been rather interesting
with the runs like hell and does a hare's fur trick.
we like you know, cobalt loves heat. and works really
well at high temp...and, i can't tell you just how hot that area
gets...but cone 11 is melted. and also, as you mostly know,
this cannot be a heavy reduction moment...will melt the clay.
(reduction adds carbon, and that can flux everything in its way.
so...caution on the reduction front. of course i think that
black smoke, carbon rolling out of the kiln...smoke everywhere
is rather silly. bad for you and your lungs and bad for
everything else around you....and if the fire department
finds you....they will shut you down...and in most cases
it does nothing for your pots...smoke outside, does not mean
carbon inside...just bad firing practice. and a great waste
of fuel.

so, i hope this answers some questions. i know david hendley has
done some great red testing. i am going to make up his famous
red and try some more tests at high temp. i am sure they
will be fine. david is a smarty pants, and if he says a glaze is
good, well it will be. i love that david is always ready to do
`hocus/pocus with great care...then just give it to me and let
me fire the hell out of it. add a touch of adventure.

as i have told many full time potters...`my job is to
fire the hell out of my kiln...melt some stuff and see what
happens... i don't expect sheila, or tom wirt, or david to do
this sort of thing...they are making a living and need to
fire one hundred percent perfect...again, as it should
be... ` so, i will bash around with joe koons and report back
to clayart friends as to what we are doing....and what a joy
it is.

from minnetonka:
clayart site:

James and Sherron Bowen on fri 1 aug 08

Glad you can afford it. That many firings would break many of us.

----- Original Message -----
From: "mel jacobson"
Sent: Friday, August 01, 2008 2:24 PM
Subject: copper red #2

Kim Hohlmayer on sat 2 aug 08

Hi Mel,
Awesome post. I am going to have to reread it a good bit to properly digest that much info. Much like the layers of color and temperature and reduction you talk about in the post I see layers of knowledge both artistic and scientific. Your medium is not just clay or even glaze but also the kiln itself. Wow!
The most enlightening part of the post though is the following: > if your kiln and shelves are
> more
> important than the pots...well, nice for you. but, for
> me...
> it is the glaze and wonder of what comes out next.

Thank you, Mel, for the knowledge and insights. --Kim H.