People ask me about my fascination with wood ash glazes. They wonder why I bother. There is much labor involved in using them, and they often produce flaws in the firing process. We decided to post an article on our website to share information about wood ash glazes and our relationship to them.
And today, I want to encourage you to check out the new article and focus on the charm of wood ash glazes. In the article, we discuss the origins of the material and its chemical composition and clarify the differences between low, mid, and high-fire glazes. You can read about it in depth in inferment.com/wood-ash-glaze
So then, why are wood ash glazes fascinating and beautiful? The surface of a wood ash glaze is complex and rich with layers of colors and textures as if there were not one but a pattern of several glazes. The impression it gives me is like that of a musical instrument that produces several sounds at the same stroke. In ceramics jargon we call these phenomena “phase separation” and “crystallization.
Rather than going further into descriptions of the aesthetic qualities of wood ash glazes, I want to direct your attention to the beauty of the ash glazes actually in the studio. Look at the “Moss” glaze, the black and brown spots floating on the green surface, and the occasional golden yellow spots appearing at a certain temperature.
You can also read more about our collection of wood ash from various trees and how each one of them is treated as a unique substance.
And last, I want to touch on the poetic dimension of my experience with wood ash glazes. Though we work to develop a repeatable product, there is always some unpredictability in the glaze outcome. This unpredictability is intriguing and inspiring to me as an artist who works with natural substances – minerals, rocks, wood, fire, and water. The elements have their own expression.
This dynamic – in which elements flow into the studio from my local environment are transformed and shipped out to other localities and other countries as sculptural forms and functional vessels –gives me so much pleasure.
It’s as if the studio is itself a plant with far-reaching roots, taking in our love for art, food, and nature and then producing vessels for everyone to use and enjoy in unfamiliar places.
Thank you for being a part of it all.
Hadar and the inFerment team