Gary's Third Pottery Blog
Michael Pollan — 'A good pot holds memories.'
Gary's third pottery blog

WRITE TO ME! garyrith@yahoo.com Come see me! Gallery 41 Owego, NY August 3 and 17 . Cooperstown Art Association "Earth, Wind, Fire" New York Invitational August 22-Sept 20.. Six Mile Creek Winery Harvest Fest September 13. All material on this blog unless stated otherwise is copyright Gary Edward Rith 2013-2014

Friday, May 25, 2012

not as dirty as cleaning septic tanks but ICK anyway...



The wife is snapping away at the breakfast table, as you see here....yesterday I was fooling around with soy milk and figured out how I can make SOY CAPPUCINOs! SO, i had to give US these 2 awesome cups I showed you earlier in the week, seen here with the St Lucia's cats I baked and told you you about also earlier this week...sorry, 3 pics of self at the table?  Well, I thought they were funny...

These came outta the kiln looking AMAZING I am so pleased. A color scheme I have not used in years, my baby blue with swirls, my ice blue with swirls....

OK, not as dirty as cleaning septic tanks, but I really think it is filthy and horrible, esp. since it involves my 150 year old basement. I am lucky to have this basement, where I store my glaze mixing supplies, I can make a big mess, then use the hose out back to clean up. Here is the stair down from the studio, down in the basement, then out the little door from the basement to the back door...its a good system....it does feel like a work out, the buckets get so heavy, and it does NOT feel like work. I mean, making a pot feels like work. Mixing glaze feels like...sweeping the floor? Emptying smelly trash? Something you just have to do...but my jade glaze was nearly empty and I saw that my spring green and turquoise were empty too, my 3 favorite glazes. here are secrets: the jade and spring green each began life as 2 seperate glazes, all four of which were "meh". OK. But I asked self "what happens if I pour A and B glazes together to make a NEW glaze, C???" and it was BRILLIANT and beautiful, like adding 1 +1 = 75. So then I was like "OK, let's put together d and e glazes to make F!" and that was amazing. Each of the final glazes go from having 8 ingredients to 16...it takes a long time to mix these....but, before you get lost here, then I said "well, this spring green and this jade are both so pretty as double glazes, what if I added THEM together?" and I got my best glaze yet, TURQUOISE! Made from 4 glaze recipes originally...so it is made of about 28 different ingredients in the end.....

11 comments:

Barbara Rogers said...

Ah-ha...no wonder they are so intriguing and beautiful! Always fun to develop new things, less fun to follow up and replicate, eh?

smartcat said...

You are living proof that great glazes come from a willingness to experiment.

Your mixing area is why I pay my local supplier Dew Claw Studios to make my glazes. Their glazes are always perfect, to the point that I hardly test anymore. It's worth the mixing fee and I don't have to store a lot of stuff.

Your breakfast is making me hungry!

Michèle Hastings said...

everything that goes along with glazing is a pain. we are cramped for space so now that good weather is here our glaze operation has moved outdoors. way more convenient, but i just hate looking at all those messy buckets out there.
oh well, aside from that... the life of a potter is GOOD!

Claudia from Idiot's Kitchen said...

Okay, flute chick here who knows zip about pottery (other than how to buy it).... Can you give a quick tutorial on what goes into a glaze? What is it made out of? Not looking for state secrets but I am curious.

Those big cups are very cool! I like the shape and size. Don't even get me started on the bowls...they are my weakness!

-Rob, Simple Circle Studios said...

That is wacky. So do you mix the original glazes first then combine them or do you mix all 28 ingredients in a single batch?

Lori Buff said...

Combining and layering glazes can be fun. You can make something beautiful or make a mess. Yours came out beautiful.
I'm always telling student that since glazes are chemicals that react to the heat you might not get what you expect, like black and white doesn't make grey it makes blue. Awesome when it works.

smalltownme said...

The basement is like your mad scientist lair.

cookingwithgas said...

well I just finished reading your book,I mean blog, that is what happens when one goes out of town.
I am very interested in the how- do you now mix the recipes seperate or all as one?
The food- looks so good!

Gary's third pottery blog said...

OK, these glazes? Claudia--clay is made of silica, kaolin, feldspar, iron, sand, talc, etc. Stuff like that combined, more or less. Glaze ALSO has a little clay in it, from the list above, but more tilted toward the things that turn to glass, like feldspar and less clay. PLUS the things that add color, like cobalt for blues, copper for greens, iron for browns or something...but that varies depending on all the rest of the stuff in there, plus you have your whitening things, like zinc or tin oxide which can also make a clear glassy glaze opaque, and some glazes melt differently and are matte surface. But I know what I like, generally a semi smooth and semi-shiny, semi-glossy opaque glaze a little more pastel in color, you know? Almost all of my 18 glazes are my own inventions, and the couple that are not I have altered to my liking--like baking: take the oatmeal cookie recipe, out with the spice and raisin, in with the cocoa powder and choc chips!
The jade and the spring green I mix from big recipe cards--just go down the list, measure and toss the stuff in the bucket, then mix, sieve, etc from scratch. I make the turquoise, which has as a base, as I said, 4 diff. glazes, i simply take mixed wet spring green and jade and combine equal cups into another bucket, stir it up, voila! Turquoise! COULD not be easier---as in, mixing 2 large glaze batches actually gives me 3 different glazes at the same time :)

Julia said...

Loved your cliff notes version of how glazes work for Claudia. You should write a book.

Claudia from Idiot's Kitchen said...

Cool! No wonder you're a good cook too! Thanks for the nifty glaze primer.

Julia, I am totally in love with the goat in the wheelbarrow photo. Too cute!

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I am a part-time pottery instructor at Cornell University Pot Shop and a full-time studio potter and sculptor, married to superhawt Missus Tastycake.