Dan’s stoneware and porcelain forms are typically decorated using multiple layers of colored slips and glazes that are applied at different stages as the work dries. He enjoys using his fingers, sponges, and brushes in this process, and often draws and carves back into the surface to expose the original clay. To further this layering he salt fires; a process that complements his forms and surface designs, while providing a highly durable finish.
Salt firing or salt glazing dates from the middle ages in Europe. It was used in the United States widely in the 18th and 19th century; often for storage vessels, crockery, and jugs.
Rock salt is introduced into the kilns atmosphere at the end of the firing (2350 F). The salt vaporizes, allowing the sodium to add a layer of glaze to the work’s surfaces. Unique textures and a varied palette are developed depending on the path of the flame, the placement of objects, and the volume of sodium. The fire becomes a collaborator, as work is often enhanced in unforeseen ways.