Stoneware with sgraffito decoration of flowers under buncheong glaze; H. 8 1/4 in. (21 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1986 (1986.305)
Buncheong represents an important development in the Korean ceramic tradition. Its indebtedness to Goryeo celadons can be seen in the grayish green glaze, although, because they contain less iron oxide, buncheongglazes are not as green in tone as celadon glazes. In addition, the simplified decorative technique of stamped designs used in celadons of the late Goryeo period, in the second half of the thirteenth to the fourteenth century, was adopted by Joseon potters in the decoration of early buncheongwares.
This fifteenth-century bottle was decorated on both sides with a floral design using the sgraffito technique. In this method, white slip is applied to the surface of the clay body, and a design is incised into it. The slip is then scraped away in the areas surrounding the design to expose the grayish blue body beneath. After the piece is coated with a transparent glaze and fired, the white-slip design stands out clearly against the dark background. In this example, the boldly rendered floral decoration complements the thickly potted vessel. The glaze has pooled in places on the surface, producing subtle tonal variations.