The Legend of Ruson

They say history is written by the winners. I'm not sure who the winners in ceramics are, but I sure did have a hard time trying to find information about pre-colonial pottery in Southeast Asia. Through one obscure online reference, I discovered a story about clay jars from the Philippines.

There's a legend that during the 15th and 16th Centuries clay jars with magical tea preservation properties came from in a region of (what's now called) the Philippine islands.

These were coveted by nobility, particularly in Japan, and passed down as family heirlooms. Merchants created generations of wealth from trading these jars. Some commanded outrageous prices - more than $4 million dollars (in today's money). Some jars had poems written for them and others were decorated with silk cords.

Soon, knock-offs from other countries started circulating the trade routes. But, they say the most valuable pieces came from a region of the Philippines called Luzon. Or as those obsessed with these magical jars called it, Rusun.

European contemporaries dismissed Rusun jars as simply uninteresting "homely" earthenware. Maybe that's why there's little information about these pots in today's literature about ceramics. Or maybe it's all just a myth to begin with, who knows!

When I was thinking about what to name my pottery adventure, I loved the idea of putting the name Rusun back into the history books. Even if it's just in some niche, obscure coffee table book in my mother's living room.

So folks, welcome to Rūson. A brand that stands for sharing "other" stories, starting with my long story (and everyone else's) as mixed-race, third culture kid, global nomad, angry ladies (or dudes) who want to save the planet.