Yesterday, we discussed the difference between "studio" pieces and "production" pieces. The example above, made by the large-scale producer Jasba, is clearly a production piece—though it has tried hard to emulate its studio siblings.
Jasba started by getting the shape just right. Notice that the simple globular form is compressed-downward, as though a gentle force were pushing upon the top of the spherical body. This conveys (aesthetically) a sense of dynamic tension—imbuing the piece with an energy that a perfect sphere does not convey. The little foot, at bottom, elevates the piece, presenting it with an enhanced sense of importance. And the jug's handle is perfectly-sized: not too big, not too small. When a company engages in large-scale production, it makes perfect sense to "sweat the details," to get the original form just right—for each shape may be reproduced (moulded) thousands of times over many, many years. And a beautifully-shaped "blank" might be glazed in a hundred different ways. Extra time spent up-front will pay huge dividends in the future.
But Jasba did not just get the shape right. It also produced a compelling, unusual and sophisticated glaze, too. Here a pea green underglaze is topped with a dappled sapphire blue overglaze. It creates an unexpected color combination, as refined as a studio piece might be (though at a much lower cost).
In the competitive world of Post-War large-scale production ceramics, rival factories kept an eye on the studio trends of the day—and would hire talented ceramicists to oversee "artistic direction." The factories wanted to give their wares a design edge, all the while taking advantage of the economies of scale which their large size afforded.
Please click upon the photo above to learn more about this piece by Jasba.
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