What's Old is New............The Evolution of Glazes
Post by Judy Howell
My husband Dick was the glaze maker and creator for Montana Earth Pottery from the early 1980's until his death in 2009, at which time his first glazes were paired on pottery pieces with the last glazes he made.
Green graniteware was the name of the next glaze created, in the early 80's, after the clear glaze on top of slips which was our first glazing adventure. On it's own this green was a very dark, so intensely copper green, that it had a smokey black appearance. Combined with a rich, satiny white overglaze it became one of our signature "graniteware" (named with a nod to the enameled cook ware, often used by campers, call graniteware) glazes (see photo of pitcher). This green when dipped on top of the white glaze gave rise to another signature line, our mountain and animal collection.
An early customer wanted a dinnerware set in the mountain and animal line but with blue on top (to match the placements she had already purchased!). Thus was born the blue graniteware (see photo of vase). Again, this glaze on it's own had a dark, smokey appearance but acted like the green when combined with the satin white glaze and we were able to offer both the graniteware and the mountain and animal lines in both blue and green.
Fast forward to 2008 and Dick's ongoing health problems and my realization that he might not be around too much longer or be able to keep making glazes. I had been playing around with combining his last glaze, which we called sapphire blue, with the blue and green graniteware and really enjoying the combinations and interplay of the glazes. I asked Dick to please make sure I knew where to find the recipe for the sapphire glaze as I knew I wanted to do more with it. After his death I accidentally discovered that by leaving out a couple of the blue coloring agents I had a mint green glaze to work with and a whole new line was born....examples of which are the green on green garlic pot, the blue on blue utensil crock, the green on green small plate and blue on blue sushi plate.
.....And so it goes, the first and last glazes are combined to make something new going forward.