Jeff began experimenting with ash glazes many years ago. In part it was reaction to the suggestion of browsers that Sally should be drawing grapes all over the pots. That has been done elsewhere!
Grapevine ash, what remains after cane is burned following the harvest, offers an abundant local resource. Jeff collects it just after it has cooled, then leaches out the impurities in water. He mixes it with feldspar, clay (measured by weight) and water. The subtle variations in our ash glazes reflect differences in the soil the vines have grown in, the ash itself being the only variable in the glaze formula.
Sally inlays the ash glaze into our iron-saturate glaze, making geometric designs or looser bands of decoration to take advantage of the interaction between the two glazes. The most enduring of the geometric designs is the honeycomb pattern, which appeared on the cover of Napa Style’s first Fall catalog.
Blue and Green Clay
Another ongoing experiment involves coloring white stoneware with oxides of cobalt and/or copper to yield subtle blues and greens with a transparent glaze. The results are often a surprise to us and we do not take orders for these pieces.