About the Potter

Davis Salks lives and creates his pottery in rural Berks County near Hamburg, PA.  His designs are inspired by the antique pottery of this region and by the artistry found in Pennsylvania German Fraktur.  Each piece is lovingly formed in earthen clay by hand on the potter’s wheel.  In the manner of ancient potters, the glazes and slips are carefully formulated and mixed from his own secret recipes using mineral components and clays.

Etching

Etching is a method for decorating pottery where  sharp tools are used to furrow grooves into the surface of pottery while it is in a leather-hard state.  Only transparent glazes can be used with shallow etchings which would otherwise become hidden.  Tinted glazes can be used to darken the decorative grooves naturally because ambient light must pass through a thicker layer of glaze before it is reflected.  Optionally,  grooves can be emphasized with color before glazing by filling them with engobe*.

*engobe – a ‘slip’,  or clay that has been liquified with water, and colored with raw mineral oxides suitable for the high heat of firing.

Celedon

digitalfire: A green or blue-green reduction fired glaze that has been stained using iron oxide. Celadons were first developed by the ancient Chinese.   wikipedia: Celadon glaze refers to a family of semi-transparent glazes … in a wide variety of colors, generally used on porcelain or stoneware clay bodies.   Britannica: Yue ware, first made in the Han dynasty (206 bce–220 ce) in China, was the earliest celadon; the glaze used was olive or brownish green. Beginning in the late Han period.   Salks: Unlike true celedons, mine are fired in an electric, rather than wood-fired, kiln.  Although the few pieces I made were experimental, I was pleased with their results, and generally find that this “celedon” category is a suitable match for the general translucent, earthy-toned qualities represented.