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Circular Lidded Jar with Flat-Top Lid

1981 John Nelson glazed stoneware overall: 8 1/8 x 11 3/4 in. (20.6 x 29.8 cm) diam. Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Donna and John Donaldson in memory of Jean and John Michael on the occasion of the Fifteenth Anniversary of the James Renwick Alliance and the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Renwick Gallery 1997.109.16A-B Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 54A

Luce Center Label

John Nelson decorated the surface of this jar with stripes and cell-like forms. The sharp edges of the shapes suggest that he coated the clay with white glaze, fixed paper templates to the surface, then applied layers of color over the top. In the kiln, the paper burned away to reveal these dramatic markings. The eight flat sides evoke frames of an animation, and it is easy to imagine that if we spun the vessel on its base, the flowing shapes would jump and dance around the surface.


decorative arts - ceramic

Crafts - Clay

ceramic - stoneware

About John Nelson

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John Nelson