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8 August, 2008

Next Meeting Saturday, September 13 at 2 pm

16th-19th century stoneware jar made in NE Thailand or Laos, which is in Taking Shape now at the Sackler
One of Daniel Johnston's pieces.

The next meeting of the Washington Oriental Ceramic Group will take place on Saturday, September 13 at 2 pm in the Freer Gallery's Meyer Auditorium. This session will be co-sponsored with the Freer. Our speaker will be Daniel Johnston, a North Carolina potter. Daniel will discuss his work in Thailand. After finishing his pottery apprenticeship and 'turning' pots in Seagrove, North Carolina, Daniel wanted the perspective of working with potters in another part of the world. In a village in rural Northeast Thailand, he spent two months training with men who specialize in making large jars and firing them in wood-burning kilns. He will recount his experiences living in the community of Phon Bok and learning the local traditions of forming and firing jars—and his reunion with his two teachers when they brought their skills to the Mall for the 2007 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. RSVPs are not necessary but please let David know if you will attend so we can give the Freer an idea of attendance numbers, 703 503 3195,

This lecture celebrates the exhibition Taking Shape and the launch of the museum's first online catalogue, Ceramics in Mainland Southeast Asia: Collections in the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.

Synopsis of the July 16 session in Freer Storage: Tea caddies in the Freer Collection

In Japan tea caddies, the small jarlets holding the tea used in the tea ceremony, are the subject of great connoisseurship in their classification and dating. They can be considered the most important implement in the tea ceremony. The Freer has over 100 tea caddies. Mr. INOUE Kikuo, a Japanese archaeologist and curator, was in Washington to study Japanese tea ceramics in the Freer collection. In particular, he has been working for the past ten years to reclassify and re-date Seto and Mino tea caddies, based on archaeological evidence from kiln sites and user sites. His work has lead to a gradual reconsideration of the traditional dating of tea caddies. Now it is possible to set up a scientific framework for their dating. Tea caddies have been the last bastion of tea ceremony lore with regard to classification, so he is performing a major transformation of understanding. On July 16 Mrs. INOUE Tomi discussed tea ceremony ceramics found in the Freer's collection, including tea bowls, fresh water jars, and of course tea caddies. Mr. Inoue illustrated his discussion with nine of Freer's tea caddies, none taller than 3-4 inches (10 cm). All elegant, two were Chinese and the others Japanese glazed black or brown iron-decorated, which seems to have been the most important glaze color from the beginning. In Japan, Chinese tea caddies have been highly valued and may have been around since the 12th century, although their history is vague. The international trade in these jarlets is not understood. Some, however, were found in the cargo of the famous 14thcentury Chinese trading ship sunk off southwest Korea on its to Japan (the Sinan shipwreck) in approximately 1323 CE.

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