Elusive Copper Reds

Elusive Copper Reds

Ian’s specialty and passion is for the rare and visually stunning Copper Red glaze. Copper Red pottery, also known as ‘ox blood’ or Sang de Bouef, gets its name from its glossy, rich, blood red appearance. Copper red glazes are among the most beautiful glazes in the ceramics world.

The effect is produced by a method of firing that incorporates copper and was first discovered by the Chinese of the Ming dynasty, probably during the reign of Wanli (1573–1620). 35) – Encyclopedia Britannica.

Why are Copper Reds so valued?

The copper red glaze is incredibly difficult to perfect. To produce consistent high quality copper red pieces is complex. The reason is all due to the kiln. Copper reds will only work in a reduction environment. If the kiln is not reduced (of oxygen) at the right time or evenly, the results can range from failure, to patchy, to exceptionally beautiful.

The Mystery of the Copper Red

There are many ancient myths surrounding how glazes were originally developed. Being one of the pottery world’s most highly esteemed glazes, the myth of Copper Red adds to the mystique and value of this beautiful glaze.

Read more about Ian’s experience with copper reds here in “Surface Therapy – Copper Reds” by Daniel Skeffington for The Australian Ceramics Association.