One of the best things that I have gained from becoming a potter is the friends I have made.The bell at the left is a case in point. Sarah Culbreth taught me how to make the form. Gary Adkins of AK Clay gave me a hundred pounds of the clay that he processes into Ohio Slip and said "try to throw it". Gary was making a delivery to a neighboring potter, Jason Bove so he drove the clay to Lebanon. Jason held onto the clay until I could pick it up. It throws nicely but if you use it as a clay body and fire it very high, it turns into a glaze( read that as puddle ) in your kiln. Gary sells dry processed material to use as a slip or in glazes and used this way, it is a great product up through cone 12 or so.
But back to my point, four different potters were involved in making this bell. I have mentioned my friend Mike Baum several times in this Blog. Mike has fired pots for many potters in the Clay Alliance and his favorite farewell seems to be " Bring some pots over for the next firing." Jean Ann Bolliger has taught me nearly everything I know about kilns and glazes, gratis. People openly share recipes for glazes that are usually designated by the first name of the person who developed it. It's just as amazing that when potters see a glaze with a name like "Pete's Red" they immediately know that Pete is Pete Pinnell. I have met dozens of generous, helpful people through the Cincinnati Clay Alliance and workshops I have attended. Young, old, gay, straight, black, white, it really doesn't matter. Some folks might think we are all competitors but it really doesn't look that way from here.