Salt glazed stoneware cup with porcelain details, by Alistair Young
This is an exception to the rule in my Magpie series as I do not own this cup… but do I covet it (which after all is just as magpie-like). It belongs to a friend of ours and I see it every time we go and stay in her lovely cottage in Wester Ross. Essentially this beautiful glossy sheen is achieved by throwing salt into a kiln during the hottest part of the firing process. Salt glazing is a traditional technique that dates back to the 15th Century, first used to make domestic pottery durable and easy to clean.