The graceful lines of the form are inspired by early English-style pitchers. The Copper Penny finish is a perfect example of “letting the wood kiln be the paintbrush”. With the ash accumulation forming its own glaze and texture, this wood-fired pitcher is a beauty. Measuring 5.5”w x 9.25”h.
Please Note: What appear to be white spots on the surface are reflections from photo lighting.
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.
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.
This piece is hand-signed by Ben Owen III with the year made (2022).