Broken-mouthed jar, Japan

Broken-mouthed jar, Japan

Broken-mouthed jar
Japan, Shigaraki kilns
1400-50
Stoneware, with natural ash glaze
Museum no. FE.20-1984

This jar possesses a rugged beauty long prized in Japanese aesthetics. Three ridges reveal that it was made by the coiling method, not on a potter's wheel. The cracking and pitting were caused by the uneven melting of minerals in the clay and the burning off of organic matter. The streaky glaze was created naturally by wood ash in the kiln. The broken mouth signals its everyday use in the past.