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al c conf. exciting wood fire news.

updated thu 9 mar 00


LOWELL BAKER on wed 8 mar 00

Recently at the firing of the triple Alabama flat top during the
Alabama Clay Conference we made two wonderful discoveries.
The first is very accessable to all. C. J. Coleman of Starkville
Mississippi put a slip of 80% EPK and 20% Neph. Sy. on her
bisqued work. After firing to cone 12 the slip flaked off leaving a
pattern of fused clay surface which looks much like the Naked
Raku except light tan in color. The resisted areas were a light buff
color. Pretty neat treatment of a wood fired surface, but I believe it
has stoneware applcations too.

The second is that one of the participants discovered a natural clay
deposit on Mobile Bay which yeilds an almost Shino like surface.
This clay puts all of the other slips we have been putting on our
pieces to shame. I will be trying to get some of this clay to do
further testing. I hear the deposit is small and it is down a 200 foot
bank. Wouldn't you know.

The bad discovery I made is that I am melting my firebox with the
3000 or so degrees I am getting out of the sawdust burner.

regarding the conference itself: I had a great time. If you are
planning such a conference or a workshop I highly recommend
hiring John, Vince and Mel. The sit down panel, behind potter's
wheels and turn tables, was the most informative and enjoyable
demonstration I have ever witnessed. There is a very good
mechanics and vitality detween these fine presenters both on and
off the stage. They worked far beyond their scheduled times and
were exceptionally accessable to the audience. We were very
lucky to put this team together.

My personal thanks to all of the people who helped with and
attended this wonderful conference. You make it the continuing
success we see every year. I only wish we had access to larger
presentation venues, but if we get larger if might change the
character of the event.

I look forward to seeing you at the conference next year in

The University of Alabama