1929, Sunbury, Pennsylania - 2014
Some sixteen years ago, I began to use the salt glaze process as an integral part of my work. Salting is a very old technique, derived around the 12th Century as a quick and quite economical way to put glazed surface on such things as sewer and roofing tile, barn floor gutters, and storage containers. These were usually dark brown in color and had a somewhat rippled surface which we call orange-peel. Instead of bisquing the ware first, then dipping it into a bucket of glaze and firing it a second time, one need only to put the raw pot in the kiln, fire it to a maturing temperature, and introduce raw salt into the kiln, A chemical reaction takes place as the salt volatizes into sodium vapors that mix with the silica in the clay, creating a thin coating of soda-silicate glaze on the clay surface.
I use the salt process because my work demands it; not because I was taught it or it is a now thing to do. The process itself is a very physical and theatrical one, which is part of me. It was as natural for me to turn to salt for the final ingredient in my work as it was for me to do all that whic...