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Moon Jar

Moon Jar
Moon Jar, 2016, Akiko Hirai © The Artist. Photography by Jon Stokes

The moon jar, so called because of its shape and traditional white glaze, is one of the most iconic forms in the history of British Studio Pottery. The most famous moon jar, made centuries ago in Korea, was brought to England from Seoul in 1935, by Bernard Leach, who had spent time studying ceramics in both Japan and Korea. Leach called it a ‘piece of happiness’ and in 1943, lent it to another leading potter, Austrian émigré, Lucie Rie.

Leach admired this moon jar as the best example of the beauty he found in East Asian ceramics. Rie admired it for its understated yet monumental simplicity.

The moon jar continues to inspire potters to this day. The four contemporary potters whose work is seen here - Akiko Hirai, Nao Matsunaga, Adam Buick and Gareth Mason - have all projected their independent visions onto this form.

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