To win the sake flask and cup made at the new anagama kiln in Wytham Woods, tell us what your favourite ceramic is, and why


To win the sake flask and cup, complete this: My favourite ceramic is… because...[in a maximum of 50 words]

You don’t have to have read Edmund de Waal’s The Hare with Amber Eyes to know that ceramics is enjoying a revival, not least in Oxford. Here anthropologist Dr Robin Wilson has teamed up with leading UK potter Jim Keeling (Whichford Pottery in Hook Norton) to build two experimental Japanese kilns, called anagama, at the University’s Wytham Woods. You can see coverage of the first firing of the first kiln here. Now, Robin and Jim have offered Oxford Today readers a magnificent prize drawn from this first firing – a real moment in the history of British ceramics. 

Append your COLLEGE, YEAR of MATRICULATION and DEGREE SUBJECT. Submit your entry by email to, or post it to her: Oxford Today Sake Comp, University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2JD.

Competition entries taken until Thursday, 24th December, 2015, in order that the winner be announced in the new year.


The Prize
Robin says: “I had to work hard on the potters to part with these, but what you have here are the best sake flask and tiny sake cup that came out of the kiln. These are really lovely.  Wonderful flame marks, lovely surface coloration - it is the best of many of the experimental special clay mixes we devised especially for the first firing. And the ash has settled and vitrified perfectly. Despite being a director of the project, they haven't given me one like this. It’s absolutely lovely.”

Terms and Conditions

  • Entry is open to all Oxford Alumni Card-holders, excluding members of the University’s Development and External Affairs portfolio and their families.
  • All entries must be the work of the individual submitting them and must not have been published elsewhere 
  • By entering the competition, entrants agree to grant the University of Oxford a licence to publish the entry in whole or in part in Oxford Today in any format or media throughout the world

Image via Robin Wilson


By Alison Armstrong

I am an enthusiast of Japanese ceramics and have a couple of pieces by Hamada, also by M.C. Richards of the Leach/Hamada/Yanagi lineage in U.S. My favourite ceramic piece is the Kizaemon Ido tea bowl (Yi dynasty) made in Korea and colllected in Japan illustrated in the Unknown craftsman book by Soetsu Yanagi (Kodansha, 1972; 1989). I also have a few pieces of recent Shino ware and other items dating from the last 100 years.

By Richard lofthouse

A very desirable collectable for grabs here....

By Philip Swindells

My favourite ceramic is a large dish given to me by family members on my seventieth birthday showing a stag in the foreground and other deer in the background; because it is a beautiful piece of work from Scotland and a very personal gift.

By Anne Everest-Ph...

My favourite ceramic is a tablet made by the late Vaughan Glanville of Arc Pottery in Wiggaton, Devon. It is a copy of the Rotas Square tile fond at many Roman sites in Britain. It is an early Christian sign which can be read horizontally or vertically arranged into a simple Prayer.


'OrO Te Pater; oro Te, Pater; sanas ( Ipray to thee, Father,Thou healest'