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Ewer in the Form of a Melon
Ewer in the Form of a Melon, 12th century
Porcellaneous stoneware with celadon glaze
6 1/4 x 6 inches (15.9 x 15.2 cm)
Gift of Colonel Stephen McCormick, 1998
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Looking Questions

  • Does the shape of this vessel remind you of a fruit or vegetable? Which one?
  • How would you describe the color of the wine ewer? Where is the color darker? Where is it lighter?
  • How was this vessel used? Who used it?
  • What might the tiny loop on top of the handle and on top of the lid be used for?

Art Activity: Celebrating Fruit

Korean potters found their inspiration from nature. They did not have refrigerators or world trade, so when a special fruit came into season—like the melon this pot resembles—it was a great cause for celebration. Have students bring in their favorite fruits for a celebration. Students should use watercolors or color pencils to paint or draw their fruit in full color. Hang the drawings in the classroom. Then make a fruit salad for all to share. The whole fruits will be preserved in the student drawings, just as the melon in this small wine ewer was preserved by the Korean potter.

Group Activity: Visit a Local Ceramic Artist or Studio

Sometimes research cannot be done in books. Seeing a ceramic artist in action in his or her studio is a great research activity. Have your students research if there is a ceramic studio or artist in your town. Will that company or person let you visit? Before the visit, have students make a list of questions to ask. They may have more questions once they arrive and see the process of transforming a wet piece of earth into a work of art. After your visit, write a group article for the school newspaper about how clay, in the hands of a ceramist, turns into something beautiful. Remember to send the artist a copy of the article!


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