Large Shigaraki storage jar in very good condition. Over a bright orange body, a large area of molten green ash glaze scatters over the surface and runs down in long streams to the bottom part. At the side, the ash glazing is concentrating in a single glaze drop - a much sought after detail that only occurred on pieces that stood at the front of the kiln's chamber close to the fire.
The Shigaraki region is a mountainous area in today's Shiga Prefecture, southeast of Kyoto. The Shigaraki kilns gained large popularity due to Kyoto's tea masters in the 16th century. Prior to their promotion, they mainly produced simple everyday ware for the local people, merchants and institutions.
Large jars, like this one, were primarily produced for storage, for example for storing food or seeds, but were also used in the context of religious Buddhist rituals. Due to their enormous weight, these jars were coil built in several rounds, between which the clay was allowed to dry to gain stability for the next layer of clay. This construction process led to the irregular, asymmetric shape with visible horizontal lines at the vessel's wall.
The carefree, almost expressive appearance of the jar is one of the key secrets of its timeless beauty which still appeals to the modern eye.