Wild Moonjar no. 1 - Weald clay, Hampshire, 2019 | By Nina Salsotto Cassina
Thrown at the wheel, fired to 950°, unglazed, lightly burnished.
See material details below.
H. 20 x w. 18.5 cm
Material: Clay foraged from a Weald deposit in the Hampshire coast. The Weald formation extends from Kent through Sussex and into Surrey. It’s named after the Weald, an ancient forest which previously covered the area.
This clay has been used in pottery for centuries. Mortarium were made with it during roman times and it also played an important role during the 18th century industrial revolution for the production of bricks.
Weald clay is yellow-brown in its weathered superficial form, while blue-grey hundreds of meters deep. It’s iron rich and fires to warm terracotta tones.
This sample was thrown without any processing of the natural material, so it retained its natural grog and irregular texture. The moonjar was lightly burnished with a rounded flint collected from the same site.
About the Collection
The wild moonjar collection researches and searches a material essence. It comprises seven vessels, each made from earths foraged in South East England and is part of a larger documentation of the geology of the area.
The form, inspired by the traditional Korean moonjar, is purposefully simple and sober to allow the properties of the material to speak. All thrown at the wheel, the moonjars alter dependent on the clay body, its plasticity, grog and strength, with the goal of maintaining imperfections and abstracting the vessel as little as possible from its original earth.
The vessels are unglazed to both highlight clay as the primal quality of pottery and to maintain a sustainable approach. The clays are collected in small quantities, by hand, without producing any waste and fired just once, lessening energy consumption.
About the Maker
Nina Salsotto Cassina started the Unurgent Argilla project in 2019. She works exclusively at the wheel and mainly experiments with wild clays foraged by hand in small quantities. Self-taught, Nina is also currently a politics doctoral student at SOAS and applies her training in research and academia to ceramics.
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