Barbara Howe

Barbara Howe (Calgary, AB) or Clay Necessities creates beautiful functional work with a focus on creating beautiful and classic forms with fantastic glaze colours from her studio in Calgary Alberta.

Inspired by plants and vibrant colours, Barb enjoys the challenge of working with difficult glazes such as “copper reds”. The copper red glazes are distinctive and have been highly prized in history, dating back over a thousand years. The difficulty to produce this red glaze caused them to be so highly prized they were used in 15th century China in imperial rites.

Raku pieces are characterized by the black, smoked clay body and the unusual, spontaneous surface effects. Raku is a centuries old firing technique developed by the Japanese. The pieces of pottery are fired outdoors in a kiln fuelled by wood or propane. The pottery is heated rapidly to the red-hot stage and then, while the glaze is still molten, they are pulled out of the kiln and into the air where the glaze oxidizes creating iridescent colours and/or crackled surfaces. Raku fired pieces are truly unique and make distinctive decorative objects. Raku fired pieces are not water or food safe.