When I first heard the term “Pooled Glass,” I was suspicious. I wondered whether it might be the type of smug and pretentious Collector Speak which I typically avoid (earlier known examples including “Alienware,” “Eastlake” and “Fat Lava”—each a term never used by the designers/craftsmen of the period to describe their creations). With a little research, I discovered that the term was, indeed, used by artists and craftsmen to describe the effect whereby a thick, glassy surface “pools” within the crevices of of a fired ceramic vessel. After the ceramic form is crafted, chunks (or chips) of glass are sprinkled into the low (or flat) sections of the bowl where they will melt—and pool—during the firing process. If the glass chunks have a high alkaline content, crazing will occur, resulting in a “cracked ice” appearance. Furthermore, chemical coloring powders or dyes are sometimes added to the glass chunks, creating specific color effects during the firing.
The Danish Modernist bowl, pictured above, is made of a dark and weighty stoneware clay (similar to Herman Kähler). Otherwise unadorned, the bowl is dressed with a thick “pooled glass” finish—tinted an alluring, aqueous blue. Viewed from above, it reminds me of a satellite view of a remote desert lake—whose color has been invigorated by some metallic emission leached from an ory vein below. Please click on the photo to learn more about it.
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