Monday, April 30, 2012


I have never been one to make chaire necessarily, but was asked to recently by a customer. Instead, I decided to make a small covered spice jar, because after all, "he who controls the spice, controls the universe". My basic hesitancy to make chaire stems from an inability to acquire bone, horn, wood or ivory lids for the pot and as such I prefer to just make a very small covered jar and let people use them for whatever they will. The illustrated piece, with and without the lid, is under 3.5" tall and is glazed overall in a temmoku and then dipped in the iron red, tetsu-yu glaze. The chaire is glazed overall, including the rim and the lid was fired separately. Aside from the glaze, the only decoration to the pot is the incised line around the shoulder and the one pronounced drip on the front of the pot. I made a group of these small jars in the last firing as they fit easily around other pieces. As energy costs continue to go up, I am looking for filler to take up every nook and cranny of the kiln and these small jars along with other small pieces help fill up space that previously may have been empty.

It would seem, every new pot presents some type of hurdle in the throwing, tooling or glazing, why should these be any different. Throwing the lid is a chore as I am 6'2" with large hands and making the tiny lids proved to be less than fun and I had to "reconstruct" a pair of old glaze tongs to hold and dip the little jars in the glaze. With no area on the foot or base to hold on to, tongs seemed the natural solution for dipping the pieces. The scale of the pot may have posed a few new challenges but one thing is for sure, it is easy to pack, uses very little bubble-wrap and fits in the free USPS Priority box!

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