There are a number of reasons why the subject of ash glazes has been on my mind in recent weeks. One of the best is that, just before Christmas, I was given a lovely little dish by Katharine Pleydell-Bouverie, one of Britain’s real pioneers of studio pottery. She was known for the subtly of the colours on her pieces which she achieved through the use of ash glazes. This little dish looks as if it might have been a test piece. It is only about 10cm diameter. Mind you, if my test pieces looked as good as this I would be in Heaven!
The glaze is a very subtle green. The crazing is interesting as it is smaller where the glaze is thin and larger where it has pooled in the dish. It has also drawn a lot of iron out of the clay causing a delicious toasted ring. Every time I look at it, and I do so very frequently because I cannot quite believe it is mine, I think about the experimental ash glazes which I tried for the diploma. Most of my test glazes are sitting on a shelf in the studio and I begin to wonder why on earth I am not having another go with them because they certainly showed some promise and, given the relationship between my pieces and place, there is a good reason for using local ash as well. It might give my work something even more.