Alisa Clausen on sat 11 oct 03
Ian Currie made his debut in Europe last month. As you all know, he is =
well known on the US workshop circuit.=20
To prove how powerful a resource Clayart is, Ian and I met on this list. =
We read each other's posts, etc because we have many common interests =
in the glaze sector. When Ian was planning his trip to Iceland, a =
personal stop in between European venues, he wrote to me about the =
posibililty of visiting me in Denmark. I was really thrilled at this =
chance to meet Ian and spend some time with him. I offered him a time to =
relax in our guest house out on the land as well as promised not to pick =
his brain to distraction while he was here. We talked back and forth =
through emails. He had his dates set and I was really very thrilled =
about his visit. In the time he was already traveling in the US, I =
sought a workhop venue for him here. Time was very short, as the summer =
vacation was just about to begin and Ian would be here in September.
The International Center for Ceramics could not accommodate Ian on such =
short notice. However, the only pottery school in Denmark, at =
S=F8nderborg, has an enthusiastic leader, Johan Grasberger (Austrian). =
Through positive and swift cooperation between Ian, myself and Johan, we =
got the workshop scheduled for the end of September. I was personally =
pleased that we were not only able to supply Ian with a rest and =
relaxation period during his busy schedule, but we also scheduled a well =
met workshop in Denmark. I was especially pleased that I would have the =
chance to learn Ian's grid method first hand and also that it would =
available to the ceramists who signed up for the workshop.
Johan is a master mold maker. He made 6 grid molds and got 80 tiles =
pressed in 2 hours. I did the rest in a dark body. Other than the =
practical things that are necessary for the planning of the workshop =
according to Ian's outline, I awaited Ian's phone call from the =
Copenhagen airport. =20
Ian arrived in Copenhagen with apparently such positive energy, that all =
of the power was lost on Zealand within a half hour of his landing.
(We now know that actually it was a power failure in Sweden).
As things were, Ian sat tight in a train for almost 7 hours before it =
departed for my part of the country. Should have been a 3 hour trip, =
but it stretched out to about 12 hours. Ian is incredibly good humored =
and could basically sit back and enjoy the non-ride. He met pleasant, =
stranded Danes and learned somethings about Denamrk while he waited for =
the lights to come back on.
2am and Ian calls from the local station. I got him home, cooked him a =
small salmon dinner/breakfast and the next day was a rest day.
Workshop took place over the weekend of Sept. 27-28. We got right to =
it, as the workshop has a packed curiculum. Most of the participants =
were good English speakers. But where their English failed, the numbers =
of the glaze ratios, analysis, etc. took over. Everyone came away with =
a a good foundation of the Grid system and a lot more. As it is usual =
during workshops, common interests and goals set a positive stage for a =
good atmosphere and contageous eagerness of attendees to be involved. =
It was a good two days. Additionally, Ian is wonderful cog in our =
international group of communicators and sharers. He promoted Mastering =
Cone 6 Glazes during the workshop.
I do not need to promote how intellegent and well spoken Ian is. He is =
patient as Job and gets the material across in an interesting and =
comfortable way. A lot of material is covered and I believe the most of =
it was grasped by everyone. Personally, I find the grid so interesting, =
because with a base glaze, I can test 35 alumina/silica ratios. I can =
make a family grid from a recipe I have, which is mostly how I will use =
the method at present. Since I am practical about testing, meaning I =
make the glaze and fire it and evaluate the visual results, I am =
particularly pleased that I can consolidate the test tiles to one grid. =
After looking at the grid, I can understand why a glaze resulted the way =
it did, depending on where it is in the grid. There are several =
constants and all the glazes can be evaluated according to the constants =
with Ian's methods. I will never say, "this is not a glaze" because =
they simply all are glazes. The work and knowledge needed is to =
evaluated what kind of glaze, stability, limits, etc. For that we are =
more than fortunate to have many contributors on the list.
The absolute perk of this workshop was having Ian as our house guest for =
just over a week. In the evenings, he was gentle but stern, that I get =
some homework done. In between all the things we covered - workshop, =
home life, a little sightseeing, a tradegy in our community and funeral, =
an animal rescue and several trips to the market, I would not hesitate =
to say that the week was gratituous for all of us, workshop attendees, =
myself and Ian. =20
I do not have a glaze calcuation program. I will try out the John and =
Ron program when I get the chance and Ababi has sent me a version of =
Matrix to try. However, with Ian here, I got a good start on Seger =
calculation. I like to do it by hand because, again being the practical =
type, I learn by doing. It takes me a long time to get through the =
examples in Ian's red book, but it is coming along. Ian is very =
positive. He says the understanding is there, I need, however, to get =
more secure in my math work. I enjoy it all and it a great challenge to =
be involved in.
So, thanks to Ian's visit and because he is the gentle person he is, I =
have a friend. I have learned heaps, not least, beginning Seger work.
I look forward to meeting Ian again, as he is booked for next year at =
the school and we will get him to the International Center, hopefully, =
during the same week.
regards from Alisa in Denmark.