This Member’s Pick does not show a complete object of art but just a piece. Therefore not less interesting. Read the story of this archaeological object, by SJA member Suzanne Kluver.
Often an archaeological object tells a story about the way it was produced. For instance this shard of Oribe-pottery, which gives us information about the technique of decorating.
For me, such a shard completes the art historical story about ceramics, and I find it a pleasure to share these stories with other people. Hopefully this will help to increase the appreciation for crafts like pottery.
Generally, ceramics in the Oribe-style can be recognized by the green and black glaze. In some styles a reddish and/or white coloured slip is added for decoration purposes. In this shard you can clearly see a stamped motive of a chrysanthemum. This stamped decoration on the bottom of the cup would still have been visible after firing, through transmitted light.
This shard is an example of pottery waste. The green splashes on the shard suggest it should have been glazed in a monochrome green, but it never got to that stage.
This type of monochrome green Oribe is called sō-Oribe. The design of Oribe-ware found its origin from the artistic influence of the old tea master Furuta Oribe (1544-1615), nevertheless this cup was probably intended for everyday use and not for a special occasion like a tea-ceremony.
Oribe-ware is still being produced today. Even though it still hasn’t lost its specific traditional look, it’s always a great eye catcher in every interior.
Nice to know is that the chrysanthemum is the national symbol of Japan and represents rejuvenation, nobility and immortality.
Shard of a teacup, Oribe-pottery (織部焼), Mino-prefecture, Edo-period (1603-1868).