Shigaraki ware; stoneware with natural olive-green ash glaze
This large storage jar from the Shigaraki valley, located to the southeast of Kyoto, epitomizes a love for traditional Japanese ceramics. The jar, coil-built in sections, demonstrates the classic Shigaraki character of a rough, rust-orange surface combined with a natural olive-green ash glaze running from the narrow neck over the bulging shoulders to the foot. The high iron content of the clay gives the body its reddish tonality, while an abundance of feldspar and quartz create the gritty white particles on the surface. The simple form and subdued color of Shigaraki wares came to be appreciated by tea masters in the past, and still, today, the unpretentious and profound beauty of a jar such as this grips the viewer's attention.
Sadako Ohki, Twentieth-Century Japanese Ceramics at the Yale University Art Gallery: The Collections of Molly and Water Bareiss, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2001), 23, 6, 12, no. 3, fig. 3.
Sadako Ohki, “Japanese Art at Yale,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2007): 40, fig. 8.