Hourglass Vase in Cobalt, Yellow Matte and Ash Glazes, 16"h (Ben Owen III)
Hourglass Vase in Cobalt, Yellow Matte and Ash Glazes, 16"h (Ben Owen III)
Hourglass Vase in Cobalt, Yellow Matte and Ash Glazes, 16"h (Ben Owen III)
Hourglass Vase in Cobalt, Yellow Matte and Ash Glazes, 16"h (Ben Owen III)
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Hourglass Vase in Cobalt, Yellow Matte and Ash Glazes, 16"h (Ben Owen III)
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Hourglass Vase in Cobalt, Yellow Matte and Ash Glazes, 16"h (Ben Owen III)
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Hourglass Vase in Cobalt, Yellow Matte and Ash Glazes, 16"h (Ben Owen III)
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Hourglass Vase in Cobalt, Yellow Matte and Ash Glazes, 16"h (Ben Owen III)

Hourglass Vase in Cobalt, Yellow Matte and Ash Glazes, 16"h (Ben Owen III)

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   A perfect vase for fresh flowers, or, as a standalone statement piece.  The glaze is a blend of cobalt, iron, and, natural ash accumulation from the wood-firing process.  Unusual micro-crystals formed on the surface of the piece during the cooling process of the kiln firing as a result of the natural mineral components in the clay interacting with the ash accumulation on the surface.  Measuring 8.5”w x 16”h.
Please Note: What appear to be white spots on the surface are reflections from photo lighting.

Multi-Layered Glazes
   While Ben III was in college in the 1990s, he was introduced to a spraying technique with an air-driven spray gun that some potters use to build up layers of glazes on the clay surface.  With some experimenting, he was able to create a variety of finishes using accents of three or four different colors and using an ash glaze as a top coat to blend or bleach the underlying colors.  Some finishes are a base of iron yellow with cobalt blue or copper green covering with orange to silver developing from the overlapping colors. Each pot is unique.  As a similar process to Natural Ash Glazes, Ben III frequently places these finishes in the wood kiln to accentuate the colors as well.

    Ash glazes allow us to “let the kiln be the paintbrush” by relying on the wood-firing process as the glazing agent.  Most pieces dedicated to Ash glazing are placed in the kiln with little to no glaze applied to the exterior.  During the firing process, the wood is stirred occasionally in the firebox to give flight to the flakes of ash that are produced during the firing.  Airborne flakes cling to the exposed areas of the pot and accumulate over time.  As the kiln reaches 2300° Fahrenheit, the accumulated ashes begin to melt and form a natural glaze.  When the wood-burning kiln is heated to over 2400°, the wood ash liquefies and runs down the side of the pot like honey. 
   Ash may also be layered over other glazes.  For example, when Ben was in college, he was introduced to a spraying technique using an air-driven spray gun that some potters use to build up layers of glazes on the clay surface.  With some experimenting, he was able to create a variety of finishes using accents of 3 to 4 different colors.  A glaze made from ash can be used as a top coat to blend or bleach the underlying colors.  Some finishes are a base of an iron yellow with cobalt blue or copper green covering.  Other colors of orange to silver can develop from the colors overlapping.  No two pieces are exactly alike.  Ben frequently places these in the wood kiln to accentuate the colors.

   The inspiration behind the Yellow Matte Glaze was to create a smooth, “soft” surface on the pots that would be a change from the glossy finishes typical in the Owen family of glazes.  From looking at surfaces created during the wood firing process, Ben wanted to recreate a similar surface but with the option to make it uniform or add an accent by spraying on the clay surface.  The yellow pigment is made from iron oxide and the matte finish is created from the use of magnesium and strontium in the glaze.

   The Cobalt Blue glaze has been used by the Owen family for over four generations.  Early salt glaze wares made in the late 1800s were decorated with a cobalt blue glaze over the grey salt finish.  Over the past 50 years, Ben Owen Pottery has made some cobalt-glazed pieces using a uniform coating of the glaze on the surface of the pots.  Today, Ben uses a glaze similar to the older, original glaze.  This newer Cobalt Blue is glossy and reveals a depth to the finish.  Sometimes, the Cobalt Blue is used to accentuate pieces that are fired in the wood kiln.  These are called multi-layered glazes. 

This piece is hand-signed by Ben Owen III with the year made (2021).