This bowl has been hand thrown in England of naturally red English clay, slipped with naturally white English clay, and then hand-incised, before being glazed blue with cobalt, picking out the scratches through the slip to the darker red clay as black. This ancient technique is known as sgraffito, and was used by the romans to create frescos. Each piece is engraved entirely by hand, using just a pointed wooden stylus, so is slightly different from the next.
The illustration is taken from a 19th Century American advertisement encouraging prospectors to hurry to Nevada where they would find unparalleled wealth. This gold rush coincided with, and possibly caused, the development of jeans, and the Elephant with his magic boots is woven into Tender’s clothes labels. Throwing pots by hand involves drawing the desired form up from a single solid spinning lump of clay. Tender’s Master Potter works the clay directly with his bare hands, so each piece is unique and bears the marks of his fingers and thumbs.
The bowl sits on a pedestal and has a diameter of 10½” (27cm) at the top. Please bear in mind that this hand-made pottery should be washed by hand, and is not suitable for microwaves, ovens, or dishwashers.