4. Flame Pots

The Jomon lasted from 10,000BC-300BC

That is a very long time. In societies in the time noted are pre-literate. Artists often had a prototype which they followed closely. From time to time a potter chooses to break with that tradition and try something on his or her own. Flame pots developed out of that courage.

 Can you imagine being cut off from the rest of the world were so very long?

Through out the history of ceramics some pots transcend the norm of pot. The beauty of proportion can change a pot into something of beauty. In the case above note the simple texture of the pot and then take a close look at the top of the pot. The lip of the pot was turned gently outward, cut with a sharp knife when the pot was partially dried and then coils of clay added as pure decoration. At each point the artist had to make decisions. When the coils were applied they had no texture. The artist had a choice, leave the coils smooth or texture them. The next image is a close up picture of the top of the pot.

Why do you think they did this?

Although this is not a chronological development here, I have attempted to provide you with an idea of the change in these very fancy pots. Throughout the history of art simple things become very complex. When the idea has developed to the most complex the era is suddenly over.

I have never seen a pot like this next one. Here the artist made a lot of decorative decisions. There may be holes on each side of the pot so that leather straps could be placed there for ease of movement.

Decoration on the top stands in contrast to the simple finish for the rest of the pot. This is a simple example of the beginning of a major change. The artistic change shows a different balance in the way one looks at the elaborate function in this case.

The pot above can be compared the the first pot you saw. The edge decoration is more complex. The same is true of the next pot and this pot has been distorted to one side.


Another change is seen in this next pot. The sides of the pot are no longer smooth and more clay and texture have been added.




And this is as far as it goes. From the simple plus a bit of decorative clay to the sublime. One can almost see the flames rising and burning all around this pot. Help your minds eye to see the fire.

We end with this amazing pot.