Glaze Inspiration: Forest
December 15, 2022
What landscape has influenced you the most? There are places we visit that embolden themselves in our memories. For OWIU, four landscapes have been so closely tied to our lives that they inspired our first ceramic glazes collection. In MATTER, our signature line, we introduce Meadows, Beaches, Dark Coastal, and Forests. There is something about having a piece reminiscent of landscape with us that helps us feel connected to a place, even though we may not be there anymore.
In in our forest collection, we call to mind walking through towering trees and curtains of deep greens. We draw upon the feeling of moss beneath our feet, the scent of wood, and hearing the crisp silence of nature. A place of deep spiritual connection, the forest is there for rest and regrowth. Historically, we've found shelter in its canopies and used its timber to build the new worlds we inhabit. Under fallen tree trunks, whole ecosystems develop, and the woodland life cycle starts again. The world-ecology innately stands for what philosopher and ecologist Timothy Morton called a set of cultural responses in humans' relationship with their surroundings. We see in Forests a place that we are all connected to. In MATTER, we carry it into the home as a resounding token of the woods we come from.
Elementally, ceramics are composed of the body and the glaze. A ceramic glaze is a waterproof layer fused to the pottery using firing. Glaze can be used to decorate or protect a piece. The ceramic body's inherent porosity is sealed by glazing, making it longer lasting. Besides being used for protection, glazes create a variety of finishes—rough and natural stoneware or pristine porcelain—and enhance the texture and design of a piece by adding a unique layer of identity. To create a glaze, elements like copper, cobalt, manganese, and iron can be added to silica which colorizes during the firing process. In addition, many methods of application by dry-dusting or liquid dipping create unique finishes. Each of our glazes was painstakingly developed over hundreds of hours and batch testing—each creating a new dialogue during the development process.
With our feet on the ground, we look to the verdant shades of green for inspiration: viridescent, an almost spiritual declaration of abundance. Deep emeralds and muted sage blend together to recreate the forest through the trees. Natural streaks form across our staple collection of plates, bowls, and cups like new pathways composing through the woods. There’s nurture the whole way throughout.