This Melon Egg Vase in Chinese Red is made from local earthenware clay with multiple layers of red glaze applied to the surface. The thicker application of the glaze reveals a rich color and texture. The Chinese Red glaze is considered a signature glaze of the Owen family dating back to Ben III’s father. Measuring 6.25”w x 9.5"h.
Chinese Red has become one of Ben III’s signature glazes over the past 35 years. Ben’s father, Ben Wade Owen Jr., developed the glaze after many customers requested a red finish. Chinese Red was not produced by Ben’s grandfather, Ben Owen Sr., although many of the forms that he studied early on in his career were shapes from China that included a red finish. The red glaze is reminiscent of the old Chinese Red overglazes used in the 16th century and has worked well with Ben III’s simple Asian translations. The red glazed pottery cannot be used for food or liquid due to the limitation of firing temperature. If using for flowers, place a plastic cylinder or bowl inside the vessel to hold water.
Ben Owen III is a potter from Seagrove, North Carolina. His forefathers came to North Carolina (NC) from England as early as the late 1700s to make a new living in the USA. Some of these early generations learned skills in craft by making pottery and furnishing storage jars along with other utilitarian wares for early settlers. Ben’s grandfather, master potter Ben Owen, Sr., admired the early Asian pottery he saw displayed in museums and collections while working at Jugtown Pottery (1923-1959). He translated those works into his own style later at Ben Owen Pottery (1959-1972). Ben III studied pottery as a young apprentice first with his grandfather in the late 1970s-1980s and later at East Carolina University (1989-1993). Like his grandfather, Ben creates pottery that reflects a foundation in traditional early american designs, and incorporates influences from Asia, Europe, and Persia. Ben has participated in workshops and conferences throughout the United States, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and recently in China. His work can be found in many museums nationwide, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Smithsonian Museum of Art. Ben’s commissions grace the lobby of the Ritz Carlton Tokyo Hotel in Japan and The Umstead Hotel and Spa in NC. Singer/songwriter James Taylor and golfer Arnold Palmer are among the notables whose collections include works by Ben Owen III.