- Museum number
Porcelain moon jar or vase, white porcelain body with brown stoneware clay veins or streaks, thrown, with rim and foot, made in two halves which are luted together. The two clays are thrown together to achieve the veining or marbled effect, a method known as agate ware. The interior is pale blue in appearnce; this is created by a thin layer of the porcelain clay over the darker brown clay.
- Production date
- 2012 (circa)
Diameter: 26.50 centimetres
Height: 27.50 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Buick uses the simple moon jar form as a canvas with which to evoke the Pembrokeshire landscape where he lives and works, incorporating stone and locally dug clay to convey a sense of place. The brown clay in this pot is dug from the moor beside Buick's studio; he refers to it as Waun Llodi clay, the Welsh name for the moor. The brown clay is rolled into the porcelain clay prior to throwing so that its appearance is random and cannot be predicted. The mid brown specks are the result of ash deposits during firing, while the darker specks in relief are fragments of stone within the clay. The porcelain clay is obtained commercially. The firing takes twelve hours (information from Adam Buick 25.8.2016).
Buick was inspired by an impressive large white-glazed moon jar of the 17th-18th centuries in the British Museum, previously owned by Bernard Leach (1887-1979), who purchased it in Korea in 1935 and gave it in 1943 to his fellow potter Lucie Rie (1902-95). Lucie Rie bequeathed it to Bernard Leach's daughter Janet Leach, and it was acquired by the British Museum in 1999 (see 1999,0302.1). Buick himself has written on his fascination with this jar:
'The shapes I throw are based on Moon Jars (dal hang-ari) a Korean form from the Choson dynasty (1392-1910) originally made from plain white porcelain. At the time they represented the epitome of the austere Confucian virtues of purity, honesty and modesty. Because of their form they were also thought to represent the embracing, gentle qualities of woman and fertility. Park Youngsook, the only modern exponent of Korean Moon Jars, points out the difficult and exact skills needed in throwing the two halves that make up the completed Jar. Furthermore a careful firing schedule is needed at high temperatures to fuse them successfully. This simple form revered by the Korean people for hundreds of years still resonates today, admired by all who see them. Housed in the British Museum is a Moon Jar that Bernard Leach brought back from Seoul, one of only ten originals in existence. Leach and his contemporaries in Japan admired it for its lack of self-consciousness, and the beauty of its slight imperfections. I was also struck by these qualities, its serenity and simplicity. I was so inspired by that Moon Jar that for the past four years I have made nothing else, not to replicate it exactly but more to capture the ephemeral qualities that the form resonated. Keeping the Confucian virtues in mind I now use this pure form as the composition for my work.' (quoted from http://www.newcraftsmanstives.com/index.php?location=artist&artist=3505)
For a moon jar made by Park Young-sook in 2005, see 2006,0505.1. Buick's moon jars were shown together with the Leach/Rie Korean moon jar in 2013, see exhibition catalogue, 'Moon jar: contemporary translations in Britain', Korean Cultural Centre UK, London 2013. Korean moon jars are traditionally made in two asymmetrical halves which are then luted together (joined with liquid slip in the leather-hard stage). Buick's moon jar is made in the same way.
- On display (G67/dc18)
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Purchased by donor from the artist at Ceramic Art London, about 2012.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number