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Monroe Salt Works Pottery
 Monroe Salt Works Pottery:
Salt Glazed Pottery
Since 1971

Monroe Salt Works produces the best salt glaze stoneware in the country. It is hard to believe that this stoneware can be so durable while being beautiful. It is very hard to chip, and is safe for the dishwasher, microwave, and oven.
The shapes are comfortable, the sizes ample, and the lips generous. We make pottery to be used. Although people do hang a plate on their wall, we see that plate on a table. Full of food, with friends over for dinner.

The designs come from what we see around us. Crows making a lazy flight, or making a racket in the tall pines. Beautiful wild flowers in a field. Cattails growing along a marsh. A big moose slurping mouthfuls of grass at the edge of a northern lake. It's all here, and that is why we are here too. This is the place we have chosen to live.

Salt glazing is a technique developed in Germany in the 15th century. What we do here in Monroe is the same age old practice. We load green (unfired) pots into a large, walk in, hard brick kiln. Our kilns are fired with propane. After loading, the fire begins very slowly. Over the next 20 hours, the fire builds, and the temperature reaches 2300F. Now the action really starts as we throw handfuls of rock salt right into the roaring fire. When the salt vapor hits the white hot fire, it is vaporized almost immediately. The salt vapor is what actually reacts with the clay to form the glaze during the firing. Because the firing is so dynamic and has so many variables, no two pieces are ever the same. Some will receive heavy glaze, some light. One piece will be reduced and come out dark, another oxidized and come out light.

For us here at Monroe Salt Works, this variation in pots is exactly what we are after. In this age of mass production and predictability, we like surprises. We think it would be very dull to open the kiln and see all the pots uniforms. In our pottery you can see the mark of the firing on each individual piece. Each piece has its very own character.

Monroe Salt Works Pottery Pottery
Route 7
P.O. Box 399
Sheffield, MA
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