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The Mother Ship


The iconic Korean Moon Jars were made in the late to mid 17th to mid-18th century and were used for storing rice, soy sauce, alcohol and sometimes displaying flowers. In the same way that I have been drawn to this form, so have other modern artists including Lucie Rie and Adam Buick. My initial reaction to the form was hardly conscious. I think I must have seen an image without knowing what it was, and simply copied it as an exercise in throwing "a nice shape". Obviously, this has developed over time into the work you can see today. I don't "copy" the form any more as much as to try and "capture" its spirit. So what is it about this simple form that inspires? Partly it is the principles of frugality and purity that the jar's shape was supposed to represent. Perhaps its also the lightness of its form (like the moon) floating above its slim base? For me it is all these things but mostly the subtle asymmetry of the jar. The Koreans considered this asymmetry not as a deformity, but rather as nature taking its course. Maybe the moon jars are beautiful because they are like us and everything else in nature - the same but different, asymmetrical and imperfect.


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