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18th-19th c.


Glazed earthenware


7.4 x 45.3 x 39.6 cm


Gift of Colonel J. G. Adami, inv. 1924.Dp.16


Decorative Arts and Design

Early English slipware pieces such as this example played a significant role in the development of Mingei ceramics. Bernard Leach, Hamada Shoji and Yanagi Soetsu were fascinated by the traditional English slipware they found pictured in Charles J. Lomax’s 1909 publication Quaint Old English Pottery. The simplicity of form, fluid abstract calligraphic patterns and humble materials of these eighteenth- and nineteenth-century pieces resonated not only with the traditional Japanese low-firing techniques of raku, but also with the underlying philosophy of the Mingei movement. When Leach and Hamada travelled to England to establish the Leach Pottery at Saint Ives in 1920, they sought out examples of these pieces for their personal collections and began to experiment with their own slipware techniques. Hamada returned to Japan three years later with his slipware collection. Today, many of these pieces can be found in the Japan Folk Crafts Museum in Tokyo.

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