The cobalt and iron pigments blended with the naturally-formed Ash Glaze create a completely individualistic finish. The brilliant blue against the golden tones accents the beautiful drips along the contour of this bowl. The Natural Ash Glaze is produced from a combination of hardwoods and hard pine burned in the kiln. Dishwasher- and microwave-safe. Measuring 5.25"dia x 2.75"h.
Please Note: What appear to be white spots on the surface are reflections from photo lighting.
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 covered 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.
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.
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 (1997) and is part of our "Pots From The Past" series. A beautiful example of North Carolina pottery history!