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’s recent passions have included glaze creation and experimentation. “For some pots, I use a four-chambered wood kiln with a firing process of up to four days. The prolonged exposure to ash and heat develops a wide range of color and texture on the clay. Other glaze techniques have evolved in a gas or electric kiln with a precision in temperature control to manipulate the finish. Some pieces are re-fired to develop layers and depth on the finish.”