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INSPIRATION | March 23, 2022 | By Saxon Henry
Reactive Glazes for a Rich Finish
You may have seen the words reactive glazes in the descriptions of some of our ceramic pieces and wondered what that means. In today’s finish spotlight, we thought we’d share the particulars of this strange-sounding treatment that brings a gradated appeal to our most artisanal offerings. You can see a fuller variety of our products in this rich category here.
Reactive Glazes Defined
The blue reactive glazes bring the Manitapi Large Vase to life.
The spring releases we will launch next week will include some new items that fall under this category so stop by our website to see the additions. Each of the accessories and table lamps we’re showing in this post have reactive glazes on their surfaces. So what are reactive glazes? They are variegated or mottled glazes that lack a homogeneous solid color or character because they contain higher percentages of fluxes and additives intended to produce one or more ombre-like effects.
This Sunken Boat Wings Vase illustrates how variegated the tones can be.
Variations in color and texture are highly prized by many ceramists. Some of the ways a talented glazer will achieve variegations is by including crystal growth or adding speckling agents to glazes; phase separation and layering during preparation, and opacity variations that result from thickness inconsistencies. Multilayering is another way artisans create gradations in color.
The Sea Horizon Medium Vase has drips that illustrates how artisanal these pieces are.
Jean-Charles Chappuis, who sources our ceramic and terracotta accessories in Thailand says, “For the black terracotta vases, it is the glossy, rich, and sensual glazing that brings them such a sumptuous feel. The body of these pieces are not molded; they are hand-thrown, and the reactive glazes are crowning touches that echo a far horizon on the sea after the sun has just slid beneath it!” You can see this sentiment manifested in the Sea Horizon Medium Vase above, and the large one below. All of these products are made by a group of elderly women who live at the border of Burma and Thailand.
The Sea Horizon Large Vase, shown here, is an ivory vase onto which blue and purple glazes have been dripped. The main finish is a milky white hue with a tinge of cream to it. One of the unique characteristics of its fluted shape is how the ridges that jut out from the surface look as if they have been pinched in place. We also offer the Sea Horizon as a medium vase, shown above.
The Milos Blue Table Lamp is made from black terracotta. The incredible hand-thrown dark blue lamp has a swirled surface that looks like brain coral. The lamp is glazed in a rich deep reactive blue. We also offer the Milos as a vase.
The Sea Urchin Green Table Lamp is made of black terracotta with a moss green reactive glaze and extrusions, each applied by hand to the side of the body so that it mimics a sea urchin’s profile. This green lamp is truly an artisanal piece, as the surface has a mottled look that gives the impression it has spent time under water. We offer the Sea Urchin as a vase, as well.
Our Milione Medium Blue Vase has a white glazing and tiny blue leaves, each applied by hand to the side of the vase. This white vase is truly an artisanal piece, as each leaf is hand-glazed with a very subtle blue. We also offer the Milione in blue in small and large sizes, and in green in all three sizes.
The True Mark of Artistry
A close up of the surface of the Milos with its artful reactive glazes.
This closeup of the surface of the Milos family of ceramics illustrates how variegated the reactive glazes can be. It’s the true mark of artistry in ceramics. We hope you’ve enjoyed this look at some of our products that pack a powerful punch with their gradated surfaces. If you’re coming to High Point, Jean-Charles will be in attendance. He is very knowledgeable about these products so be sure to ask him about the special qualities in each piece. We’re located at IHFC, Suite M110, at 209 South Main Street if you’ve never stopped by to see us before.