Art History Sample Essay - Timeless Items A famous quote describes one mans trash as another mans treasure The value of prized possessions throughout

Art History Sample Essay - Timeless Items A famous quote...

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Timeless Items A famous quote describes one man’s trash as another man’s treasure. The value of prized possessions throughout history often relates to this quote; items that have high perceived values have much lower values elsewhere. The Japanese “Chigusa”, and the “Netsuke” are two important artifacts that held great value during past periods of time. Although people during our society may consider these items to be of unimportance, Chigusa and Netsuke were once highly restricted to people of high economic status. The Chigusa, which literally translates to ‘One Thousand Flowers’, was created in the Guangdong Province of China in the mid 13th to mid 14th century. The jar was created by a team of workers, and was a common creation by these people. According to Louise Cort, it was 41.6 centimeters high, and had a diameter of 36.6 centimeters. The jar was only 5.1 kilograms; however, it was capable of holding a volume of 25 liters. (Cort, p.35) It was created from a coarse stoneware clay, which was plentiful in sand and miniscule stones. The potter began by creating the jar’s base, working on a turntable, flattening a small ball of clay. Through the use of coil and a rapidly spinning wheel, the shape of the jar’s lower half was carefully crafted and thinned with the potter’s hands. The upper body was formed with more coils, with a slightly different process, “Striking the [heavy wooden paddle] on the outside of the jar wall against the [fired clay anvil].” This compacted and thinned the clay, in addition to increasing its durability. After finishing the jar, four evenly spaced lugs made of flattened strips of clay were smoothed and secured on the top of the jar. After the jar was dried, a specialist then finished the jar by glazing it, using a mixture of wood ash and iron-bearing clay.

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