This work is a response to some of my favorite Japanese Kakiemon and Nabeshima porcelain. Both styles are characterised by bold polychrome enamel overglaze decoration and made from the 17th Century. Most of the pieces have a lot of intricate decoration. It was produced primarily for the domestic market, as opposed to Imari ware that was excusively for export.
When I was growing up in Calgary Canada, I had a very different impression of Japan than after I went to art school. I had no idea about their auspicious object, zen, tea, spacial awareness, or just how different Japanese culture was from my own. These things permeated my upbringing through the icons of pop culture in the 1980’s, martial arts movies and video games.
This cup is made from a vitrified white porcelaneous stoneware. It is very hard and durable, but it is fragile as is ceramics.
It is made using a process called jollying. It is an old method of manufacturing that may be best described as mechanical throwing. A plaster mould is spun, clay is forced into it with a template on an arm that both cuts the inside profile of the pot, and squishes the excess out.
The base is polished with a diamond pad to ensure it is smooth and will not damage home furnishings.
Below is an example of me making a small bowl with the jigger jolly machine in our Edinburgh studio: