Ash-glazed Stoneware

Since moving down to County Mayo in 2006, I have been exploring new stoneware glaze textures and colours using local materials. For some years now I have been developing high-temperature glazes using clay and wood ash as the essential ingredients. It was wonderful to find a huge deposit of glacial silt-clay right here. This clay combined with native hardwood ash from a neighbour’s wood-burning stove is producing interesting glazes.

The three main glaze types are Jun, Temmoku and Oil-spot, fired to 1300 degrees Centigrade in a slow oxidising/reduction cycle. Very slow maturing between 1290 and 1300 degrees allows the colours and textures of the glazes to develop, with a depth and translucence, a feeling of inner space, which no other medium can equal.

The most recent functional ware is decorated with a “positive-negative” fern motif by incising through an iron-rich slip into the dark clay body.