In 1985 an extraordinary green-glazed, Khmer handmade elephant jar with very fine ritual details was discovered in a grave site near Khao Din Tok, (ex-Khmer Empire) what is now northeastern Thailand. It is now in the collection of the Southeast Asian Ceramics Museum, ‘’Rangsit’’, Bangkok. The Southeast Asian Ceramics Museum was established with the aim to be a learning center of ancient works of art and serve as a research center and a place for displaying highly valuable collections of cultural evidence of which Southeast Asian people are proud. The jar, dated between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, is unprecedented in the Khmer ceramic repertoire. Its exceptionally large size and elaborate decoration are rare characteristics and is a fine example of the genius of the Khmer potters’ creativity and skillful workmanship. Plus its pristine condition given that the jar was buried in the ground for at least 800 years.
This reproduction of this jar was made for the 2008 international conference, regarding Khmer Ceramics Arts, to support the presentation of Dr. Dawn Rooney, in memoriam of the curator of the ‘’Southeast Asian Ceramics Museum’’. The reproduction is at original size. The lively and whimsical decoration of this jar is characteristic of Khmers wares produced during this period. Completely handmade, making from each a unique and non reproducible piece. The base of the elephant is a jar hand thrown on a potter wheel; head, pawns, tails and decoration are appliqué during the drying. The jar is hand carved during long days. Realization by hand, with ancestral technique of such a piece proves a complete mastery of the ceramics process. The green glaze is a wood ash glaze, fruit of the ‘’Khmer Ceramics Centre’’ researches regarding ancient Khmer glazes; fired at 1300°C-2400°F .