Moon Jar magic

May 9, 2016

On appropriating cultural icons... 


Museums are fabulous places to find inspiration. Whether I'm walking around the British Museum or the V&A, I always manage to gravitate to the ceramics displays. I particularly love, for obvious reasons, the Japanese, Chinese and Korean sections. Within those, my favourites have to be Korean moon jars. They're beautiful in their simplicity, which is possibly what draws me to them. Built to store foodstuffs, usually rice, keeping them safe from vermin, the truly ancient ones are few and far between but both the British Museum and The Ashmolean in Oxford have ones on display; the one in the former originally belonging to Bernard Leach and given to Lucie Rie who kept it until her death in 1995.

Inspired by the tradition, I decided to have a go at making my own moon jar. Hand-built in porcelain white stoneware in two identical sections, then carefully joined, mine is a little squatter than the originals - making it actually more moon-like! As they were merely serviceable storage ware, most moon jars were decorated with a plain white glaze. I've veered from tradition with a simple but bold cobalt blue swish that I like to think 'hugs' the jar's form.

 

 

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