Vase

1950–1955
Maija Grotell (American, born in Finland, 1899–1973)


Dimensions

Overall: 24.1 x 24.8 cm (9 1/2 x 9 3/4 in.)

Accession Number

2012.1107

Medium or Technique

Wheel-thrown stoneware with underglaze of Albany slip, with painted Bristol glaze and uranium oxide glaze

Not On View

Collections

Americas, Contemporary Art

Classifications

Ceramics

Large tall bowl with interior white, exterior white crater glaze over red and uranium orange in a flowing line pattern.


In this piece Grotell demonstrates a firm technical command while allowing for uncontrolled reactions in the kiln. As a first layer, Grotell used Albany slip, a natural wet clay found near Albany, New York, used to produce a glossy brown color, over this she applied a Bristol glaze for the white surface by brush onto the damp unfired clay body in varying thicknesses to control the sizes of the anticipated crater bubbles. Areas for later glaze inlay were scraped away to expose the clay body. After firing, a second glaze, this one containing uranium oxide, was brushed onto the exposed areas and fired again to develop the bright orange color. “I am pleased that I accomplished something that is difficult,” Grotell said of this technique. “That was a difficult thing to do. But I kept on doing it just because it was difficult. And never any promise that it would come out.”

Signed

Initials "MG" incised within foot ring

Provenance

December 3, 1999, sold by Gansevoort Gallery, New York (Mark McDonald), to Philip E. Aarons, New York; 2012, year-end gift of Aarons to the MFA. (Accession date: Februrary 27, 2013)

Credit Line

Gift of Philip Aarons and Shelley Fox Aarons in honor of Jules and Jeanette Aarons