- Jian (Temmoku) ware tea bowls and wasters
- Glazed stoneware
- Jianyang, Fujian Province, China, Song Dynasty, 960-1279 CE
- Plumer Collection, UMMAA 47448, UMMAA 47560
Song Dynasty potters produced thousands of elegant glazed bowls for tea connoisseurs in China and Japan. Before firing, bowls were carefully placed on small clay disks inside containers of unglazed pottery, called saggars, so that they would not touch their neighbors. Saggars and their contents sometimes shifted during firing. If the hot glaze came into contact with the saggar wall they instantly fused together, never to be separated. Given the thousands of vessels in a single dragon kiln firing, failure of some was unavoidable. These vessels—including misfired bowls, saggars, and disks—were collected from the enormous trash piles near the ancient kiln.