Clay Times Back Issues Vol. 2 Issue 4 • May/June 1996 - Page 7

that forms the core of his grandoxides; and a commercial white beyond them. The Busbees son's development. Tutored by feldspathic glaze. Traditional brought progressive cosmopolitan both his grandfather and father, stoneware glazes of salt and ideas born of the Arts and Crafts Ben III has grown from recreating frogskin (a salt-fired Albany slip) Movement. Begun in late ninethe shapes and glazes of his were augmented with the white teenth-century England, this grandfather to cremovement strove new forms to re-forge the “My grandfather's philosophy was that simplicity in form ating that extend the vanished links same approach between everyday and shape was the key. It's easy to be complicated, but into new areas. As life and art and hard to keep things simple. This is my philosophy, too.” Ben III says, ”My handmade craft. — BEN OWEN III grandfather was Emphasizing a one of the main influences in my renewed appreciation of the stanlife. My grandfather's philosophy dards of common handwork, it was that simplicity in form and sought to provide an important shape was the key. It's easy to be antidote to the dehumanizing complicated, but hard to keep standards of mass production. As things simple. This is my philosoJuliana wrote,”...There is some phy, too.” Ben III has further magic quality about producing a broadened his perspective on trahand-wrought article--particularly ditional functional form with a when it is 'built upon honor' as college education in ceramics. our old handcrafters used to say.“ This perspective enabled Jacques Today, Ben Owen III has been and Juliana to grasp the intrinsic making pots at the family pottery similarities between this local potfor 14 years. He continues to tery and an ancient worldwide Ben Owen III as a youngster, at pottery develop his own interpretations of tradition extending to the Far entrance. (Sign stood from 1959-1972). the shapes his grandfather and East. Jacques Busbee created, but he is not confined by them. His recent feldspathic glaze and what Jacques, Juliana, and Ben I work resonates with shifting became their most prized glaze, a forged a collaboration to develop rhythms and cadences that are special Chinese Blue (see cover new forms and glazes that sought, perhaps more revealing of life's photo). The recipe for this glaze in Jacques’ words, to be ”...the tempo today. He ambitiously was a closely held secret, but was perfect expression of the techreaches for wider sources, drawlikely a variation of the white nique that produced it.” They ing upon Neolithic Chinese potglaze with additions of copper sought to express the essential tery and bronze forms, as well and other oxides, fired to cone 5-8. quality shared by all functional as decorative elements from the pottery throughout the ages: an It is this form, style, and aesthetic beauty welded seamlesscontinued on page 30 approach of Ben Owen I's work ly to another kind of beauty, hidden in the very essentialness of everyday use. Ben Owen I's work concentrated on uniting the strong essential forms of Chinese Han, Tang, and Sung Dynasty pots with those of local forms. Jacques helped refine these forms and developed new glazes to complement them. Traditional lead glazes were used on earthenware pieces, but to these were added ”tobacco spit“, a lead glaze with manganese; ”mirror black“, a commercial lead glaze with manganese and other Two-chamber wood kiln at Ben Owen Pottery. ▼