Tea Bowls from Texas:
I still have my most favorite tea drinks out of either of these old Salt Glazed High Fired Clay made in Austin, Texas. Back when I taught Ceramics at The University of Texas at Austin with Ishmael Soto. Ish was a tremendous company, he had his own local pottery going there. These pieces are very much like a tea vessel needs to be- they held the heat and were comfortable to hold as long as you connected to them at the lip and base- known as the foot. These pieces were salt glazed which meant you tossed in rock salt at the top of the firing ( around 2000 degrees F. You can see a bit of a red blush in the one on right- that is Copper Carbonate or Oxide.
Because I can drink out of these so easily it is easy to rhiminess over the great times I had
living in Austin, Texas 1969-70 as a teacher at the University. Being the wildest artist ever and teaching at the wildest university ever was a Big Green Light to go ahead and do it all.
Back in those days we dug our own clay or looked for a deposit and we loved the colors found clay produced as a clay body or slip or glaze. Wood ash of all kinds were used to produce incredible glazes of many subtle coffee colors to the ruby reds. And the reds sold like hotcakes. Everyone wanted red glazes on their pots.
I also taught design, drawing, and sculpture. I started the first welded steel sculpture at U.T.
It was incredibly wild and crazy with lots of demonstrations against the Vietnam War and our government needing all my students who were trying to get started in a normal life of supporting themselves as an artist.
Every time I walked out the backdoor of the pottery class I was looking up at the tower where a sniper shot from. I could see exactly where he stood, how big he was and the gun he held in his hands as they steadied his scope on the next victim. I felt his presence still there.
Austin, Texas was a music capital as well as the capital of the state, it was a party town with studs and suds and barbeque.