27 July 2016

Visiting California Part 1: A New Jar

Alternate title for new post: How Not to Photograph a Jar. Lighting high gloss ceramic pieces is tricky!

Trevor Stimson/Laguna Porcelain made this jar, which I purchased from the artist's wife at their booth at the Sawdust Festival in Laguna Beach (His young daughter excitedly sold some ceramic beads she made to my sister, too). If you're ever in Orange County during their summer or winter festivals, I recommend a visit; they have a handful of ceramic artists with good work at affordable prices, as well as many other types of art and craft.

Back when I used to throw ceramics, there was a saying that blue hare's fur (Google Image search of this term here, for easy reference) was a "money glaze." Meaning, glaze something with it, and it will sell. People love blue, and they love the deep blue and soft texture of hare's fur, also known as rutile blue. Ceramicists expressed a love/hate relationship with the glaze: the guaranteed sell worked like a pair of gilded handcuffs, stifling their ability to glaze creatively. Nonetheless, a beautiful glaze, despite its ubiquity and all grumpy comments about taste and creativity aside.

The shape is ginger-jar-ish, with a wider modern lid. The conservative shape and smooth finish shows off the glazing well. The glaze has a hare's fur feel to it, but it is better classified as a tea dust glaze (probably two or more glazes that were layered). The tea dust motes appear to have left behind streaks of darker teal and blue as they melted down the face of the vessel. They tea dust settles thickly in a matte layer of golden tan, and flecks of it looking like gold stars populate the thickly globbed black background where the glaze nearly flowed off the jar. Hare's tea dust? Dusty fur?

I liked it enough that I felt it worth risking breakage while bringing it home in my carry-on luggage.

I have some 2007 shui xian I plan to store in this jar, guarded by my tea piglet.


miig said...

Welcome back!! When you did your last post, I wasn't into tea blogs yet :) But I caught up, and it certainly is great to read some fresh posts of yours. Love the caddy too, its nice that there is only a stripe of deep blue, and not too much of it.

Take care!

Bearsbearsbears said...

Thanks for reading, miig. That one blue stripe was large enough to fix my blue craving and small enough that I shouldn't get flack from ceramics makers with opinions about blue. ;)