Archive Feature: Articles by Louise Allison Cort

By SP Staff
Apr 20, 2018

Phase one of Studio Potter's digital archive project involved digitizing our entire back issue collection; imaging each page of over ninety back issues, each ranging from 80-112 pages, to produced printable data file, or PDF, versions of each. We are proud to have accomplished that initial feat, and are now in phase two. This phase is an ongoing, long-term one to extract the text and images of these articles and provide interactive, publicly accessible, html-based versions of them on our website, including author profile pages for each.  

Louise Cort, Curator for Ceramics at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, at the Smithsonian Institution, has contributed numerous articles over the years, including one to our current issue, Volume 46, Number 1, Regional Perspectives and Pottery Tours. We are pleased to have brought most of her articles through phase two of our archive project. To read them, and to learn more about Cort and her specific and valueable area of ceramics expertise, visit her author page

Her current issue article "Rice and Tea at a Special Station: Creating Memories of Train Travel in Japan," is a personal and historical account of a byegone era. She writes:

Bowls with lids, made in Kasama or Mashiko, sold at Tsuchiura station, 1961. Collection of Willi Singleton.

In the summer of 1973, I was taking a walk with two young women who were apprentices at workshops in the pottery-filled town of Shigaraki, Japan, when we came across a small shed by the side of the road… Dusty bundles of ceramics lay on the ground… These were “train teapots” (kisha dobin), one of the town’s mainstay products from the late nineteenth century to mid-twentieth century. Vendors sold them from trays on station platforms… Although we three recognized what these pots were, none of us had ever bought one during a train ride. By the 1970s, molded plastic containers had replaced clay ones. Awed that the shed and its contents still stood undisturbed, we respectfully took away one teapot each…  

Read the rest of the article here, or purchase this print issue here. Check out all articles by Cort, and there respective issues through her author page.  To bolster our digitization efforts, please consider making a monetary donation to Studio Potter's Gerry Williams Commemorative Digital Archive Fund

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