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Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Chinese Ginger Jar

I have been reading a fascinating blog called Linosaurus, in which a retired Dutch physician, Gerrie, waxes eloquent about woodcut and other media artists and their prints from the first half of the 20th century. He's been blogging for two and a half years and I've read them all.  I'm learning a great deal from him. He has a love of flower prints especially and in two blogs he wrote of artists and old Chinese ginger jars.  Here

Artist: Bertha Plekker-Muller

The prints were all so lovely, and the small ginger jars so alluring, I wanted one.  So I got on eBay (a wonderful source for whatever one wants is eBay) and bid on the little ginger jar at the top of this blog.  This little jar was crafted by hand, most likely in the middle to late 19th century, and sent to California to the Chinese community with either ginger or some other food or herb in it.  Though intended for the common consumer, each side was first given a different embossed design, then glazed and fired. Really, it's a small work of art. Which is why ginger jars were so favored by artists of the Arts & Crafts Movement -- in Europe in particular.

When I told Gerrie that I planned to find a ginger jar for my own, he suggested that I put some rose hips in it.  And so I have.  Not satisfied with just a photo to show off, I played with my Adobe Photo program in an attempt to be painterly.  And this is the result.

The sponge effect

The watercolor effect


  1. Your ginger jar is beautiful! I love your watercolor picture.

    I know nothing about them, and look forward to reading about them on Linosuarus.

  2. I like Linosaurus, too - which is how I found your blog and enjoyed your posts about prints. The ginger jar is great, very earthy and elemental-looking.

  3. thanks for sharing.