This was my first real fine art ceramic piece that crosses the line between utilitarian and purely decorative. This is one of a series of “black iron” ceramic pieces. The glaze is a cone 10 glaze over white stoneware. I created this glaze on a whim one day trying to achieve the blackest of blacks with a slight metallic feel. The trick however was to fire it to cone 6. This gave the glaze its black iron appearance. The glaze become molten but not hot enough to glassify and run. The glaze itself would be enormously expensive to produce in today’s market. It has a very high metal content. The highest percentage being Cobalt Oxide. So not only is the cobalt EXPENSIVE it is toxic as are a couple other chemical in that glaze. So working with it required a bit of caution. At cone 6 this came out much more amazing than I had expected. Firing the glaze to cone 10 produces a very shiny black glaze which my studio mate Ben Owen was even pleased with. I think I gave him the recipe to work out for his own super black glaze. I hope he still uses a descendant of that glaze.
This is one of my greatest creations. It is a stoneware body fired to cone 10-11 for about 12 hours under very heavy reduction. It took two separate firings to achieve this look. The glaze is a natural byproduct of the ashe from the pine we burned. The inside has a translucent glaze filled with ash specs. Myself and Ben Owen III from Seagrove, NC built a catenary arch wood fired kiln in college together. That was definitely one of the highlights of my life. We fired the kiln very often, filled with mostly our own pottery. Ben is a famous potter coming from a very long family history of potters. We had studio space beside each other at the East Carolina University School of Art and Design. That was many years ago. I am working towards being able to do this again someday soon.