Kenneth Allen (1946-2000) was born in Chicago and got his BFA and MFA degrees at East Tennessee University. He settled in Rogersville, Tennessee as a full-time potter on two hundred acres, making sgraffito stoneware pieces. His works are in the public collection of the Southern Highland Craft Guild in Asheville, North Carolina. To quote an article by him in the June, 1981 issue of Studio Potter Magazine, "I take a great deal of time carving each piece, and I like to give each piece its own personality. I have been influenced by prehistoric pots from all cultures." We've included a copy of that article in one of our photos and also a copy of an information sheet from a gallery that sold his works.
This handsome pottery piece of Ken's is decorated with geometric designs reminiscent of the stepped Aztec pyramids, the ziggurats of Mesopotamia or the patterns on Native American items. Wheel thrown of a rough, speckled tan clay, the bowl shaped pot and its domed lid were hand painted with rust and black glazes. The bottom and top rims and the rim of the domed lid are edged in solid black. The lid has a black cross painted in the center. Both pieces are covered with a network of tiny carved rectangles--amazing workmanship.
The dry bottom of the pot is signed and dated, incised into the clay "Allen 82." With the lid on it measures 4 1/2 inches, 6 1/2 inches across the widest point, with a circumference of approximately 20 inches and a base 4 1/2 inches across. It weighs about 1 1/2 pounds and is in excellent, like new condition, with no chips, cracks, stains or other signs of wear. It's truly an exceptional pottery piece by an extremely talented potter.