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The nature of Japanese Ceramic

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Other +3 Age Levels Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old), Post-Secondary, Adults

Description:

This collection, based of the exhibition "Imperfectly Beautiful: Inventing Japanese Ceramic Style" is integrated in a unit on Francis Ponge’s collection of poems called The nature of things, 1942, France. In his poems, Ponge has a unique way of focusing on everyday life objects and symbols that he describes in very tiny details. The goal is to explore how Ponge’s perception of objects and symbols can be used as an entry point for an exploration of key components of other cultures. This collection is an opportunity for the students to understand how micro perspectives can lead to global and intercultural understanding.

The collection represents tea pots used for the Japanese tea ceremony (chanoyu). Through slow looking techniques, students explore them and write poems using the thinking routine "Creative Comparison".

Step 1: choose one of the tea pot and sketch it

Step 2: Pair and Share - Explain your choice. What did you notice? what do you notice in your classmate's choice/object?

Step 3: Creative Comparison

The thinking routine " Creative comparison" encourages metaphorical thinking – central to the work of any artist and to creative thinking in any discipline. Metaphors provoke our imaginations to create comparisons between dissimilar things, often leading to deeper and richer understanding of each." (PZ)

Step 4: Pair and Share (with someone else) - Explain your choice. What did you notice? what do you notice in your classmate's choice/object?

Step 5 : read the description of the exhibition and the caption. Answer the questions: 

  • In what way this new information influences your interpretation? 
  • What does it confirm? What new ideas do you have? 
  • What could you do to integrate them in your poem?

Step 6 : write a poem, using Francis Ponge's approach to objects.

Possible extension:

Ask the students to reflect on ways to curate their poems, using the thinking routine "Layers".

For instance, my students decided to do a a pop-up exhibition. They turned their poems into bilingual bookmarks for the school fair. It was a good opportunity for us to talk about translation.


Mino ware tea bowl with design of gate and seedling pines

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Vase, with lacquer lid for use as tea ceremony water jar

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Tenmoku tea bowl, Karatsu ware, E-Karatsu type

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Chayang ware tea bowl in style of Jian ware

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Bizen ware freshwater jar, with accessories

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Vase

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Agano ware tea bowl

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Black Seto ware tea bowl

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Karamono tea caddy, bunrin type

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Mino ware tea-ceremony water jar

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Karatsu ware ewer or freshwater jar

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Black Raku ware tea bowl

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Tea ceremony water jar, unknown workshop

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Tea bowl

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Tall tea caddy, Oribe type

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Tea caddy, imo-no-ko type

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Mallet-shaped vase

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Tea caddy, named Yariume (Plum Branch), Takatori ware

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Black Raku ware tea bowl named Minogame (Mossy-tailed tortoise)

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Extension

Anne Leflot

Layers: Project Zero Visible Thinking Routine

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access

POTTERY

anne leflot

The tea bowl

anne leflot