Limestone and Cedar

Museum Experience

Charles Jahn Pottery  Rice Husk Ash Glazes

When I was fresh out of art school, and travelling alone in Japan, I visited the Mingei Kan, a folkcraft museum in Tokyo to check out their pottery collection. I came across a small display of a variety of handmade functional objects: cups, bowls, and small plates. Each piece was clearly made by a different maker and was the result of many different investigations and yet they shared the same visual language, they shared the same purpose (that of utility) and they complemented each other; there was a harmony among them.

That was such a beautiful thing to me; in each one of those objects there was a lineage of a few generations figuring things out and passing on information as to how they got their patterns or how they processed their materials to end up with that fired end object. They were unique to their location and unique to their makers.

That small display was so exciting, it introduced me to the subtleties of folk craft pottery.

I like to have that diversity at home on my table. Here are 3 pots; the tall footed bowl holding the candle is an antique Chinese piece, a rough porcelain with celadon glaze. The small bowl is by a Contemporary Japanese potter and the cup in the foreground is one of mine, rice husk ash glaze on stoneware.
I think the three pieces relate to one another in a similar way, despite the differences in culture and times in which they were made.