I often get emails asking me questions about my slip or glaze or how I do something or another. I don't mind these emails but to make things a bit easier on myself I have added a Technical Page
to the blog. (The link is over in the right sidebar).
For many years after I started making pots I got so much help from other potters who were willing to share their slip and glaze recipes with me. I would often write them a letter or sometimes just call out of the blue to ask for a recipe or help of some sort. I remember Suze Lindsey sending me some recipes once. I still have a small square of yellow paper that she wrote me the information on in my glaze recipe file.
I also called Scott Schafer up out of the blue one day. He had had some pots published in CM in a Goldart ad. They were these beautiful salt glazed pots. I called him to ask for his clay body recipe. He answered the phone and I asked, "Is this Scott?". He replied in an irritated voice, "Yes, and I don't have time to talk right now! What do you want?" I was taken aback but said that I was a potter from NC and I wondered if he'd talk to me about his clay. His tone changed and he told me he thought I was a telemarketer. He said he was busy with a customer but to call back in a half hour and he'd happy to help me. I called him back and he was very nice and gave me the recipe for his clay body. I have it written down on the Goldart ad where his pots were featured.
I am happy to share what I know. I only ask that if you use any of my information that at some point you help someone too. Tom Gray
told me this same thing many years ago. Tom has helped me more than anyone else and he told me, Someday it will be your turn to help someone or pass along information and encouragement.
A few years ago I emailed a potter who I barely knew asking for some information on a certain technique. I got a very nice reply from the potter telling me that she couldn't tell me exactly what she did. She had been ripped off more than once and was guarded now in what she shared. I understood and did not push. I respected her decision and the reason behind it. It did put me on my guard a bit. It was the first time I'd been told 'no'. Now days I feel like some folks are a bit more reluctant to give out info. and that has made me a little skiddish to ask.
I like to put forth some efforts before I just go out and ask someone for something. I want them to know I've at least tried. I hate mixing and testing glazes but I try to find out what's working and what's not before I just up and ask for help. In the past I had folks give me some sure fire recipes that got me off the ground. I'm grateful for that, I did spend a lot of time and money at one point trying to come up with some cone 3 single fire glazes. They were all pretty bad and I moved on to cone 8.
Well that's a bit of a long-ish post. Check out my Tech. Page over there. I have included some info on my photo set up as well as what I like to listen to in the studio and which teas I prefer when working.