Monday, November 9, 2009

The Perfect Piece: Spanish Olive Oil Jars circa 1840

How do I begin to describe the magnificent presence of a beautifully glazed Spanish Olive Oil Jar? These wonderful pieces where originally made to fulfill a strictly utilitarian purpose. One cannot help but think of what a lovely coincidence it is that an item intended for functionality could, at the same time, be so stunning.

This Spanish olive oil jar and others from an area in Spain that borders France, have been crafted for storing olive oil using the same design and technique for over 250 years. The glaze that is spilled over the stop of the jar is also found coating the interior in fantastic colors. When each shipment arrives, it is not uncommon for us to find a thin layer of olive oil in the bottom of each vessel. The slight scent of the olive oil still lingers after the jars have been washed, serving as a perfect reminder of the past lives of each pot.

While the original intention for these olive oil jars was for storage, I believe they can serve a variety of purposes. Ranging in sizes, olive oil jars can be perfect planters in a container garden. They are simply wonderful filled with fresh cut flowers or standing alone as a centerpiece on a dinner table. They add power and majesty to a home when placed on either side of a front door. They add rich color and reflect dancing flames when positioned on the hearth. They seem to fit and complete whatever space they are chosen for in the most simplistic and satisfying way, just as the perfect piece should.

This particular olive oil jar, with its undulating lines, has a glaze that is particularly eye-catching. A predominantly orange glaze with streaks and dribbles of mustard yellow is warm, but the hints of green add a striking and complementary element to this already perfect piece.

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1 comment:

  1. Love these.. such a versatile accessory! I'd fill it with sunflowers in the summer..maple branches in the fall!