This Mug in Ash Glaze is a perfect example of “letting the kiln be the paintbrush”. The naturally formed glaze from the melting wood ash during the kiln firing creates a completely individualized piece. The texture on the surface is created by using a bandsaw blade typically used in woodworking. While the piece is leather hard, the saw blade cuts into the clay to reveal a diagonal linear design. The Natural Ash Glaze is produced from a combination of hardwoods and pine burned in the kiln. Will comfortably hold 20oz of liquid. Microwave- and dishwasher-safe. Measuring 5.25”l x 3.75”w x 4"h.
Please Note: What appear to be white spots on the surface are reflections from photo lighting.
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 stirred occasionally in the firebox to give flight to the flakes of ash that are 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.
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.
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.
This piece is hand-signed by Ben Owen III with the year made (2022).