On Coveting a Pancheon

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Recently on the Ancient Industries blog I recently spotted and lusted over the pancheon, a rough but sturdy bowl made of red clay and glazed only on the inside. Once a common farmhouse tool used for bread making and to separate cream from milk, the pancheon has become somewhat rare in modern times. They seem to be making a small comeback, however, but so far only with a handful of potters in the UK.

The pots are distinguished by their rough, red clay exterior, cream or white glazed interior, and wide, flared shape with a broad, flat lip. Some have a spout or handles, and occasionally they’re decorated with a simple, wispy border or have a brown interior glaze. This mesmerizing video of an UK potter throwing a pancheon on a wheel really shows off its simple but beautiful form.

I appreciate unrefined and hearty charm of the pancheon, the way the creamy interior glaze is applied thickly and almost recklessly. They seem to be exactly the kind of bowl I would find myself pulling down day after day to make bread or, as a nod to modern times, a big salad. Sadly, I would not be able to use it for separating cream for I lack the necessary raw ingredient. It’s not so obvious in these pictures but pancheons are often quite large (16-18″ in diameter) although they can be made much smaller as well. (I of course lust for the larger ones – practicality be damned!)

I’m also sad that pancheons don’t seem to be available in the US but I do harbor a small glimmer of hope that perhaps The Proprietress at Ancient Industries posted them only to whet our appetite for future availability? And baring that, does anyone know of a potter in the States who makes a similar product?