A unique carved bowl by potter, Bryan Pulliam. Glazed in a Ben Owen Pottery proprietary wood-fired glaze, Copper Penny. Wood ash was applied to the surface of this bowl to create a unique blend of golden brown colors as well as a metallic effect. Beautiful, unique, handmade. Measuring 9.5” diagonal diameter x 3.25”h.
Please Note: What appear to be white spots on the surface are reflections from photo lighting.
Bryan Pulliam (b. 1969) ventured into a career in pottery-making and created Bryan Pulliam Pottery after years of admiring and collecting Seagrove, NC pottery. Bryan was especially drawn to early works from Ben Owen, Sr. Between 2005 and 2008, Bryan formalized his studies in the professional craft of clay by attending classes at the Rockingham Community College and gaining an apprenticeship with Sally Hayes and Noah Carlton. Bryan learned the basic techniques of wheel-throwing joined with an artistic approach to form and design. Concentrating his studies on production firing in the electric and gas kilns, Bryan gained essential knowledge that would increase his own pottery-making endeavors.
Bryan and Ben Owen III connected over 16 years ago when Bryan visited Ben Owen Pottery with a piece made by Ben Owen Sr., Ben III’s grandfather. Bryan was curious about the piece and wanted to learn more about the pottery tradition. Bryan began volunteering to help fire Ben III’s wood kilns, and, learned valuable information. After years of colleagueship and friendship with Ben III, Bryan is now a full-time studio assistant here at Ben Owen Pottery. Many of his days are filled with mixing glaze recipes and applying glazes to Ben’s pieces, along with loading and unloading kilns. In his spare time, Bryan makes his own signature work to sell in our retail store and online store.
Copper Penny Glaze is influenced by the amount of iron in the clay as well as the formula of the glaze. The range of color is dependent on the atmosphere of the firing in the kiln. During the early stages of firing, at 1600°F, we purposely control the furnace to burn inefficiently creating carbon inside the kiln. The reaction of carbon, over a period of several hours, with the iron in the clay will create warm tones in the glaze and iridescent or opalescent qualities to the surface. The presence of wood ash coming in contact with the glaze accentuates the glaze with flashes of apple green and yellow tones to deeper brown shades on areas of the pot. The name copper penny was chosen after many customers, over the years, commented that it looked like the surface of a penny.
The Natural Ash Glaze is produced by relying on the wood-firing process as the glazing agent. Most pieces dedicated to this glaze are placed in the kiln with little or no glaze applied to the exterior. During the firing process, the wood is occasionally stirred in the firebox to give flight to the flakes of ash produced during the firing. When these small flakes become airborne, they cling to the exposed areas of the pots and accumulate over a period of time. As the kiln reaches about 2300 degrees Fahrenheit, the wood ash will liquefy and begin to run down the side of the pots, as if one had poured honey on the vase.
This piece is hand-signed by Bryan Pulliam with the year made (2021).