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Storage Jar

Artist/maker unknown, Japanese

The Tamba kilns, located west of Kyoto, were ceramic complexes supplying utilitarian vessels such as this stately storage jar to local markets. Tamba is one of the oldest pottery types, with a warm green glaze formed from natural wood ash. When the temperature in the kiln is high enough, the ash liquefies and flows down the sides of the object. The stoneware clay body, which burns to an orange-brown hue, provides a perfect foil for the patches of green ash glaze.

This jar was constructed by building up clay coils, and then finished on a pottery wheel. The X mark on the shoulder identified its owner in the communal kiln. Originally made to contain grain or pickles, Tamba jars became favored by tea connoisseurs to store leaf tea.

Object Details

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