Wakamatsu Aiso

In today’s article, we take a look at the pottery of Wakamatsu Aiso, a true collector’s potter who is renowned for small containers. Aiso hailed from Kyoto, as did most of the greatest Japanese Bonsai Ceramicists(not Tokoname…..), such as Aiso contemporaries Heian Tofukuji and Tsukinowa Yusen(a few other greats from Kyoto include Makuzu Kozan, Hayashi Takemoto, Ino Shukuho, Heian Kouso, and Seifu Yohei).
I have not been able to find dates of birth OR death for Aiso, but as a contemporary of Tofukuji I think it’s safe to say he lived somewhere around the late 19th century to around the 1970′s. He was the original founder of the Kiln At Kouso En that would later fire works from Tofukuji, and become the kiln of Heian Kouso.
His pots were very limited in production, despite this, however, he is consistently ranked with Tofukuji and Kouzan as one of the greatest potters of the 20th century. His pots, it is said, are hoarded by collectors. This seems to be true, as there are supposed to be hundreds of them, but one rarely sees them come up for sale(relatively speaking). Aiso was most skilled in glazing and enameling. His glazes are original, unique, and employ both excellent and pure single colors as well as some Yohen glazes that are pretty, elegant, and refined. His enamel technique was Kyoto-classical and flawless.
Now, let’s take a look at the pots!
20140412-191938.jpg20140412-191946.jpg20140412-191954.jpg
A few different examples of Aiso overglaze enamel porcelain. Very clean enamel work, excellent glazes, and very beautiful color combinations. This is a classical Kyoto style of pottery, an excellent examples can be seen from many potters of the region.
20140412-192112.jpg
A really brightly painted small cream crackle glazed rectangle painted in 5 color with children and pony motifs. Interestingly whimsical, the style of this piece reminds me a lot of the more common first and second generation Ino Shukuho pots.
20140412-192757.jpg
A bright yellow glazed shallow rectangle with lip. Really nice rich yellow, with just enough to patina to show age without being green.
20140412-192822.jpg
A really interesting, and rarely seen, pink glazed rectangle. The thick glaze really softens up what would otherwise be a pretty angular pot.
20140412-192836.jpg
A very nice bright blue rectangle. The light clay peeking through the thin glaze at the angles is a nice touch.
20140412-193317.jpg
For comparison, here’s another blue rectangle. Note that the glaze is entirely different, much thicker, giving the piece a much softer feel than the previous blue.
20140412-193448.jpg
A lovely blue green rectangle with cloud feet. Excellent patina, and cloud feet are rare on Aiso pots, almost all of them have cut feet.

20140414-161019.jpg
For comparison, check out this Tofukuji I photographed at Koju-en. The similarities are surely striking.
20140412-193501.jpg
This is a really spectacular piece! It’s tough to tell what was original glaze, and what is patina! Really excellent!
20140412-193508.jpg
Another beatific rarity! Lovely metallic green over light Kyoto clay. Ovals, like cloud feet, are rare for Aiso.
20140412-195246.jpg
Another cloud footed rectangle, this one in a very nice, classical, green oribe. The oribe yu shows just the a slightest crystal highlights on the surface.
20140412-195255.jpg
I’m not positive, but this glaze looks to be Takatori Yu. Take a look back at some older posts for more information on this rarely nicely executed glaze.
20140412-195658.jpg
Here’s a really nice and well patinated cream glazed rectangle from the collection of friend and cream glaze fanatic Matt Ouwinga.
20140414-160323.jpg
And another from Matt’s collection. A triple rarity: porcelain round with relief carvings of Chrysanthemum. The awesome patina on this truly one-of makes it exceptional.
20140414-160330.jpg
And one last from Matt Ouwinga: a glazed blue with white highlights. The thick and uneven glaze is awesome, and calls to mind some of Tofukuji’s more exceptional blues.

20140414-161304.jpg
A really nicely glazed small rectangle. The lighter highlights around the angles are even and nearly symmetrical, a difficult effect in a Yohen glaze.

20140414-161227.jpg
And we’ll finish up with the only Aiso I have in my collection, a small rectangle.

20140414-162451.jpg
This pot has a severely damaged and unreadable hanko, but by comparison of the clay, the unusual glaze, the unusual size of the dranage, and the size of the unreadable seal, I’m positive it’s Aiso’s work. The unreadable seal is 1.5cm, a spot on match to one of two that Aiso used(the other is 3.6cm).

20140414-161237.jpg
Another Aiso from the Kinbon encyclopedia with an identical glaze and size.

I hope you’ve enjoyed todays look at the pottery of Wakamatsu Aiso. Thanks for reading!

Posted in Famous and Antique Potters, My Personal Collection | 2 Comments

Echizen Hosui 2, or, The Difference Between a Copy, and Homage, and a Forgery

Today we’ll take a second look at the work of Echizen Hosui, and take a look at the subtle difference between a Copy, a Forgery, and an Homage. For our first look at Hosui, you can look back here:
Echizen Hosui
Echizen Hosui was born Zenzo Yoshida in Fukui prefecture in 1936, and began making bonsai containers in 1974. It’s quite clear from his work that idolizes many of the greatest artists of Bonsai pottery, including Tofukuji, Yusen, and Aiso. Today we’re going to take a look at some containers that are marked as Hosui, and some that were made by Hosui, but marked as the work of Tofukuji. I don’t think these containers were meant to be forgeries, as enough clues were left for the discerning eye to distinguish them as copies. However, every pottery collector should be aware that such copies exist, and be able to distinguish between them and the real thing.
20140324-145641.jpg20140324-145654.jpg
First up, from my collection, this small blue glazed round, riveted drum pot with cut feet. At a glance, I’d say this was real. The patina is excellent, the clay looks kosher, the style is spot on, the glaze is one Tofukuji used extensively, and there’s even a little excess clay on the underside where the drainage holes were cut. All the salient details one looks for are there….
20140324-151014.jpg
Except for the stamp. Having gotten all the major markers correct in creating this copy, it my contention that Hosui deliberately left the stamp pretty far from the mark, to avoid this being sold as the real deal. Let’s look next to a couple of real stamps:

20140324-151515.jpg

20140324-151455.jpg

20140324-151509.jpg
The middle stamp is Hosui. The scale of the letters in relation to the leaf is all wrong, the right side doesn’t show any serration, the serration on the other sides is over exaggerated, there’s a gap at the petiole, and the tip of the leaf is rounded, as opposed to pointed. Additionally, the kanji are much coarser than the original. Everything about the stamp is deliberately off, and, from first glance at the gap at the top, intended to mark this as a copy.

20140324-153447.jpg
An authentic Tofukuji Drum in this style.

20140324-152213.jpg

20140324-152414.jpg
Two other marked Echizen Hosui for comparison. Hosui loved this style of Tofukuji, and made many, most marked as his own work.

20140324-152552.jpg

20140324-152604.jpg
Two other Hosui pots that are copies of Tofukujis. Like the blue drum above, these were both marked with the same off Kaede leaf Tofukuji stamp.

20140324-152732.jpg

20140324-152739.jpg

20140324-152747.jpg
Here we have another Hosui, marked as a Tofukuji. Again, the details are all spot on…style, glaze, clay…all good. Stamp? Not so much. Once again, the stamp is deliberately shoddy, marking this as a copy.

20140324-153759.jpg

20140324-152757.jpg
The second is the Hosui. It’s too square, the style of the Kanji all wrong and too angular, and the spacing between the Kanji and the border is off.

So, what’s the difference between a Copy and a Forgery, and a Copy and an Homage? A copy leaves plenty of clues in the pot or stamp for one to tell it is not real, while a Forgery deliberately tries to avoid those clues so the item can be sold as authentic. An homage is a stylistic copy, or work that is intentionally stylistically similar to the work of another artist, but marked as the work of the artist creating the piece, while a copy will often be marked as the work of the original artist. It’s clear that Hosui greatly respected Tofukuji’s work, and also clear that he intended these pieces not to be confused as authentic.
More Hosui
In addition to Tofukuji style Homages, and copies, Hosui’s range is broad, and includes some very nice painted containers and odd accent pots.

20140324-161243.jpg

20140324-161251.jpg
First up, a blue Sometsuke porcelain piece. We’ll take a look at this one first because it’s perhaps the most obvious Yusen homage pot. From the style of the pot to the painting, this piece screams “Yusen Homage.”

20140324-161429.jpg

20140324-161658.jpg
Two pots from Tsukunowa Yusen for comparison.

20140324-161803.jpg

20140324-161811.jpg

20140324-161820.jpg
Three sides of a geometric painted pot with go-sai panels from Hosui. The five color paintings are detailed and very nice, if a bit cartoonish.

20140324-161836.jpg
And for comparison, an akae Yusen pot. Note the two figures on the cliff, a common Yusen characteristic that is also seen in many Hosui.

20140324-162139.jpg

20140324-162147.jpg
Another 5 color Hosui. In my opinion, Hosui was most skilled in 5 color painting. This piece is detailed and very beautifully rendered.

20140324-162313.jpg
And….another Yusen. Note the stylistic similarities between this Yusen and the last Hosui image.

20140324-162410.jpg

20140324-162417.jpg
An Akae painted landscape pot from Hosui. Very detailed and lovely landscape work, with excellent negative space.

20140324-162554.jpg
Three views of a sometsuke painted cascade pot by Hosui. Again, very beautiful details and very Yusen-esque.

20140324-162725.jpg

20140324-162735.jpg
Another Hosui 5-color pot. This one is a little busier than the above 5-color, but still shows great detail and excellent depth.

20140324-162919.jpg

20140324-162928.jpg
Two interesting accent pots from Hosui. In addition to these rather modern styles, which are common, Hosui also made many Kurama stone style slabs and scoops.

20140324-163146.jpg
And we’ll finish up our look today at Echizen Hosui with this interesting accent in a very modern Hosui rolled container. Very nice; very avant garde.

Thanks for reading!

Posted in Famous and Antique Potters, Modern Potters, My Personal Collection | 4 Comments

Pot in Process, and, A Correction

I happened upon this article yesterday and thought it was worth a share. The article depicts a much featured potter on the blog, and his process in carving pots from a single block of clay.
First up, a correction. Japanese is very different from English. The same Kanji can be pronounced a number of different ways depending on usage and context, and with a name, there is no context. So, on the blog thus far, I have referred to this potter as “Shunka Shozan”, but after seeing the hiragana pronunciation in the article, it is actually “Shunka Seizan”. So, make a note of it.

20140306-103256.jpg

20140306-103309.jpg

20140306-103318.jpg

20140306-103303.jpg

20140306-103327.jpg

20140306-103334.jpg

All told, an interesting look at the process that goes in to making Shunka Seizan pots. And I thought this was kind of cool too, check out the finished product above.

20140306-103546.jpg
It’s one of my Shunka Seizan pots, featured on the blog in
Shunka Seizan

Thanks for reading! Up next we’ll take a look at a few more Shunka Seizan pots, followed by a much needed update to the “For Sale” and “Chops Database” pages!

Posted in Modern Potters, My Personal Collection, Pot Info, ID, Hanko, Books, ect. | 2 Comments

Kintsugi

If you do Bonsai or collect ceramics long enough, sooner or later this is going to happen to you. While photographing a rare, one of a kind Suiban from artist Shigeru Fukuda, a stone fell on the suiban, effectively destroying it.

20140303-145131.jpg

20140303-145139.jpg

20140303-145155.jpg

20140303-145146.jpg
These are the only 3 photos I could find of the suiban before the accident:

20140303-142908.jpg

20140303-142918.jpg

20140303-142936.jpg
Needless to say, I was upset, but hoped I could turn this disaster into something beautiful and interesting, as well as a good article for the blog.
Some months ago I received a message on the blog from one “Lakeside Pottery” which specialized in custom pottery and restoration. Not one to endorse products or services I haven’t used, I decided to give Lakeside Pottery a try.
Before we go into that, how about we take a second for a little history and definition of terms.
Kintsugi, or Kintsukuroi, means “Golden Repair” or “Golden Joinery”, and, traditionally, is the Japanese art of repairing ceramics with Japanese Lacquer that is then dusted with gold powder. In the best of repairs, this results in pottery that is all the more beautiful for having been broken. The tradition dates back to 15th Century Japan. The possibly apocryphal origin story is that a 15th century Shogun sent a tea bowl back to China for repair, and it was returned with unattractive staples, causing the Shogun to look for Japanese craftsmen who could do better.
Now, back to the Suiban. I contacted Lakeside Pottery and contracted them to do this repair. They offer many different styles of repair, and different metals for Kintsugi style repair. I decided to go for a mix of gold and brass, a process developed by and unique to Lakeside Pottery, because I thought this would be option most collectors would go for, as it is much cheaper than 100% gold, and the effects are, to my eye, indistinguishable. Let me say that this type of repair isn’t what you’re going to want for your low level Tokoname pots, as it isn’t inexpensive, but for real collectors pieces, Japanese and Chinese antique pots, and pieces with sentimental value, the cost is definitely worth it, and is still a fraction of the cost of some these items.
So, let’s take a look at the Lakeside Pottery Repair.

20140303-151800.jpg

20140303-151808.jpg
I chose the more organic option of repair, where, instead of completely straight lines and thicknesses, the piece, after being fully repaired, is placed on a wheel and spun so the lines come out in varying widths and designs. Given the nature of the piece, and Bushuan pots being famous for unpredictable and organic glazes, I thought this was appropriate.
Correction: Morty let me know that this piece was not placed on the wheel. Rather, a different technique was used: “We have not used the pottery wheel for this implementation. We used our bonding materials and the metal powder mix in a technique that insures exact tracking of the break lines to insure organic authenticity with slight manipulation using higher temperature (and gravity) while properly orienting the flow following the positioning of the tray”

20140303-152054.jpg

20140303-152102.jpg
I should also say that it was pleasure talking to Morty of Lakeside Pottery. He has a real passion for ceramics and repair, and freely shares his knowledge of both, something I really appreciate. Not only does Lakeside Pottery provide Kintsugi repair services, but you will find tutorials on their website on how to do it yourself, and they also provide classes.

20140303-152451.jpg

20140303-152500.jpg
I feel that Lakeside Pottery did an absolutely superb job, and as such, fully recommend them for any repairs you may have.
While this type of repair isn’t something you can use everyday out on the benches, I think it is fine for containers that will only be used for show, as the repairs are water resistant, but not waterproof. Lakeside Pottery repairs are also much better than the traditional Japanese lacquer repairs, as they use much stronger modern epoxies, but the appearance is still comparable to the original Style.

20140303-152939.jpg

20140303-152946.jpg
If you have any repairs you need done, please visit Lakeside Pottery at the link below
Lakeside Pottery Restoration
I really can’t recommend them enough.

In the interest of Full Disclosure, let me say that, while I was fully prepared to pay for this service, and had already contracted Lakeside Pottery to restore the suiban, Morty at Lakeside Pottery did not charge me for the repair. I discussed at length with Morty of Lakeside Pottery the options available for Kintsugi style repair and cost, and it wasnt until we had reached an agreement about the style of repair and materials that he informed me it would be Gratis. I would have written exactly the same article had I payed for the repair, as the work truly was exceptional.

Thanks for reading!

Posted in Modern Potters, My Personal Collection | 4 Comments

Here There Be Dragons

20140223-130655.jpg
A 19th century Japanese map, the Jishin-no-ben, depicting an ouroboros dragon which causes earthquakes.

While the title of this post comes from a phrase on a few older maps depicting uncharted or dangerous territory, there’s no danger here, although maybe there is a little uncharted territory.

Rather than a potter specific post or pots from my collection, today’s article will be the first in a series of articles which will focus on containers from a variety of potters, each with a specific theme, style, or glaze. Today: Dragon Pots!

20140223-150747.jpg
Dragon by Katsushika Hokusai

The history and mythology of Dragons is long and fascinating, a thing that binds all cultures together in our collective mythology. Both the East and the West have mythological histories with dragons, though in the West dragons are almost solely regarded as evil(most likely a medieval link to the book of Revelations which refers to Satan as “the great dragon”), while dragons in the East are almost solely good(China) or both good and evil(Japan). Depictions of dragons have appeared for over 8,000 years in human artwork, and, of course, still appear today. For a little more online reading about the history of Dragons, take a look at these pages:
Chinese Dragons Wiki
Japanese Dragons Wiki
Famous Dragons in Western Religion

So, there’s a bit of reading up to keep you occupied for a while. Now, on to the Dragon Pots!

20140223-151531.jpg
Among Japanese potters and painters, Makuzu Kozan is one of the most famous. Bonsai ceramics are but a small part of his works, and his name is famous among ceramics lovers of all stripes. Most of Makuzu’s bonsai pots were made as custom pieces, as such, there are very few. Painting in go-sai(5 color) and unique shapes are his specialties, and his paintings frequently feature dragons. This pot, a go-sai piece, is one of a pair made to order. The dragon is both highly detailed and realistically rendered, as well as classically portrayed. A very famous piece.

20140223-151544.jpg
Another very famous piece from Makuzu Kozan. In this piece, Kozan creates a beautiful rendering using only Sometsuke. The dragons are beautifully detailed and the painting comes to life.

20140223-151552.jpg
Koito Taizan is not very well known here in the West, but in Japan, his works are considered charming and masterful, and command very high prices. This is one of only two Koito Taizan dragon pots. It’s very easy to see the whimsy and charm that he is famous for in this lovely childlike depiction of dragon.

20140223-151601.jpg
A lovely yellow rectangle with an overglaze enamel dragon, from another potter well known in Japan but virtually unheard of in the West: Eiraku Zengoro. This style of dragon depiction (enamel on yellow) is common to many different makers of Kyo-yaki(Kyoto Style Ceramics), and similar pieces can be seen from other famous ceramicists like Aiso and Heian Kouzan Jr, but this piece is one of the most exceptional. The patina and perfect execution make this piece a treasure.

20140223-153343.jpg
An antique Chinese Canton ware pot in green depicting the famous mythological scene of dragons fighting over the “pearl”. Both antique and modern Canton ware frequently features this image, and similar depictions, in indigo, green, and red. In the Asian lore of dragons, the pearl can cause replication of any item it comes into contact with. In addition, the dragons pearl may be a likely historical harbinger for the phrase “pearls of wisdom” as the pearl also brings wisdom to its bearer, be they dragon or human!
This image came from the site of my friend Peter Krebs. No pot enthusiast or potter in the world is more obsessed with Dragons. As such, take a break and check out what he has to say on the subject:
Dragon Pots Articles by Peter Krebs
More on Mr. Krebs and his Dragon Obsession a little later in the article…

20140223-154206.jpg
An Old Crossing black clay Chinese pot(Kowatari Kuro-dei). These stylized dragons are common for old crossing Chinese antique pots, and their antecedents can still be seen today in the works of Bigei and Koyo and other Japanese potters, who always look back at the best that has come before them to create modern masterpieces.

20140223-154213.jpg
Another old crossing Chinese pot, this in a white clay(Kowatari Shiro-dei). While from a different kiln, and of a different clay, take note that the stylized Dragons are virtually identical.

20140223-154221.jpg
An Old crossing Chinese overglaze enamel pot, featuring multiple dragons and serpents in the borders. Really exceptional enamel work.

20140223-160236.jpg
A Go-sai painted porcelain piece from Ito Gekko. Realistic and detailed with crisp lines, the type of depictions Gekkou is famous for.

20140223-160243.jpg

20140223-160251.jpg
Two views of another Ito Gekko, this one Sometsuke porcelain. The dragons are both painted nicely, although, while it’s said that Gekko paints freehand, comparison between these two images and the go-sai above, painted a long time apart, makes me wonder if he paints from a reference image.

20140223-160258.jpg
An akae painted porcelain round from Heian Koso. This style and expression of dragons is common among the most famous painters of Kyo-yaki ceramics in the 20th century.

20140223-161149.jpg
An incredibly detailed dragon image from Tsukinowa Shosen. This painting feels almost like anime to me, with the dragon grasping the pearl in its 5 taloned claw. It’s worth noting here that dragons in old depictions that feature 5 claws were meant for the emperor only, while other depictions have 3 or sometimes 4 claws.

20140223-161203.jpg

20140223-161210.jpg
A pair of dragon pots from Kyogoku Shiho, both in a traditional Kyo-yaki style depiction, very detailed and beautiful.

20140223-162535.jpg
Sruga Yamasyou with relief dragon in rich Shudei(Vermillion red clay). Among carvers of reliefs on bonsai pots, no artist is more well known, and rightfully so. This piece is intricately detailed and produces a wild feeling.

20140223-162542.jpg
Another Sruga Yamasyou, this one is a brownish black clay. While the dragon itself is similarly detailed to the previous piece, this pot has a much more restrained feeling. Dragon motifs are common on Yamasyou containers, and are worth the often exorbitant cost.

20140223-162550.jpg
This piece is a cooperative pot. The pot itself was constructed by Munakata Isso, and the painting by Mayu. Very nice details and lifelike Sometsuke. It is difficult to make a painting seem lifelike with a single color.

20140223-162600.jpg

20140223-162608.jpg
A pair of photos of small dragon pots, works in progress from Haruyoshi. All I will say is, if youre not friends with him on Facebook, and following his threads, you need to head right on over.

20140224-152918.jpg
A five color dragon by female painter and potter, Yuki Shoseki. Her works feature bold colors and classical motifs, geometrics, children, and dragons, very much like her teacher, Ishida Shoseki.

20140224-152931.jpg
Shohin Murasuzume(Chinese Pea Shrub, Carragana Sinica) in a dragon pot from Sano Daisuke. I think most often Ive seen Shimpaku and Pines shown in dragon pots, but this is a nice match.

20140224-152955.jpg
Kutani Ikko, Akae painted dragon with incredible detail. Ikko’s painting’s are lifelike and always highly detailed. They are relatively rare and command high prices.

20140224-153009.jpg
Another Akae dragon from Ikko. A true master of the current generation of painters of Kutani Yaki.

20140224-153546.jpg
A small, deep indigo, stylized dragon from Kutani Seizan. Very nice use of negative space, it makes the piece seem less busy than many of the other pots shown here.

20140224-153559.jpg
An interesting overglaze enamel pot from Owari Yuho. The rather cartoonish dragon really pops from the unglazed clay pot.

20140224-153608.jpg
A mold pressed porcelain pot with dragon from a Seto production grade kiln, Teizan. These containers are quite common, but nice for the price.

20140224-153618.jpg
A fantastically detailed dragon in indigo from the late Sano Daisuke. Really nice details and incredible brushwork on a very small pot.

20140224-154243.jpg
Another piece from Daisuke, the dragon on this small pot is awesomely lifelike, and the facial details are outstanding.

20140224-154252.jpg
Old Japanese Imari ware orchid or cascade pot, painted in a very traditional Imari Style with stylized dragon and arabesques.

20140224-154301.jpg
An unglazed piece from Tokoname potter Seizan, with dragons in relief. Unglazed Tokoname pots with dragons of a variety of styles can be found from several kilns, including Bigei, Izumi-Ya, and Maruhei.

20140224-154309.jpg
A very minimalistically rendered dragon from Tani Ranzan. Painted and carved dragon motifs from Ranzan are common, and they are very nice for being rather inexpensive.

20140224-154900.jpg
This piece is a really unique square semi cascade from Fukusho(福昌). I’ve only seen a couple of containers from this artist, and they all feature this similar cartoonish dragon. A really nice use of golds and blacks.

20140224-154909.jpg
A relief dragon from Yokohama guild carver and weirdo extraordinaire Okatani Zeshin. That’s enough said about that, if you like odd and unusual containers, he’s your man. Flip up to the “Table of Contents” page to see more works from Zeshin.

20140224-154917.jpg
A sometsuke dragon rectangle from Shunka Shozan. I’m still incredibly impressed that this was one of the first painted pieces from this up and coming artist.

20140224-154927.jpg
A very early edition painted dragon from master potter Fujikake Yuzan. The dragon is both detailed and decorative, and the 24 carat gold eyes and pearl are something that is completely unique.

20140224-154936.jpg
The base of another piece from Fujikake Yuzan. It’s small details like this, that most will never see(the signature also features figure paintings on the interior of the pot) that make all the difference between a mid level and top tier artist.

20140224-154947.jpg
A five color water dragon from Kutani Tamekichi. Really impressively detailed for a small pot, and the colors really pop off the porcelain.

20140224-160652.jpg

20140224-160702.jpg
A very large and special fan stamp Aiba Koyo container in a traditional Canton green glaze, with traditional Canton style relief adornments: Dragons and Flowers. Very rare, and beautifully executed.

20140224-160050.jpg

20140224-160057.jpg

20140224-160108.jpg

20140224-160118.jpg
These 5 pots(the first from my collection), are all from German potter Peter Krebs. Mr. Krebs is a masterful potter, one of the best in the West. His containers often feature dragons in a multitude of pottery styles: Carved Pieces, reliefs, and painting in several styles. It’s rare to find a potter, from any culture, who is gifted at 2 styles of motif creation; for one to be gifted in all of them is virtually unheard of.

20140224-160933.jpg
We’ll finish up todays look at Dragon pots with this piece from my collection, a gift from my friend and bonsai enthusiast, potter, and professional painter(of the art, not house variety!), Steve Ziebarth. This is a really fantastically rendered Dragon, realistic and detailed, and really comes to life despite the use of a single color. This is one of a handful of the first containers made by Steve, which is very impressive. More on Mr. Ziebarth and his works later….

Thanks for reading this, the first in series of feature specific articles! In future, I have articles planned for specific glaze types(Oribe, Kinyo, and Canton Style), unglazed clay varieties(Shudei and Shidei) as well as a few other decorative motifs!

Posted in Famous and Antique Potters, Modern Potters, My Personal Collection | 4 Comments

From My Collection 17

Here are a few new pots from my collection that I’ve picked up In the last couple months that I thought I’d feature. Enjoy!

20140208-125940.jpg
A third generation Ino Shukuho shallow round in green Oribe. Round and oval Shukuho are rare, and one sees forgeries of these shapes often, but from the glaze and the clay, this is definitely real.

20140208-125951.jpg
Another round Shukuho, this one second generation, and in a bluer Oribe. More rustic than the previous piece, but like it, from the glaze and the clay, it’s real.

20140208-125959.jpg
A nicely glazed small piece from close friend of Ino Shukuho, 川間(Kawai). He uses Shukuho’s kiln and often his glazes, and does very nice work for a hobby potter. These are rare to find, I’ve only seen a handful around.

20140208-130620.jpg
An unglazed Nanban from first generation Shukuho. Unglazed pots from Shukuho are very rare, and this is a nice blend of rustic and refined.

20140208-130755.jpg
A larger oval from Tokoname potter Ikkou, Watanabe Kazuhiro, in Ikkou’s version of Oribe with a hemp rope rim and cut feet.

20140208-131039.jpg
Very old Chinese bonsai pot in Shudei. Not quite an antique, but a minimum of 60-70 years old and with a very nice patina and clay color, and very high quality construction. At 5.5″, this is the prefect piece for a smaller Shohin top rack pine(and I think I’ll be popping one in there soon!).

20140208-131402.jpg
A greenish red glazed footed kifu size pot from Shishimaru. The glaze on this one is very cool and unique. The color of glaze changes color depending on lighting and perspective, from red to green and back again.

20140208-131439.jpg
Blue-green oval from Gyoun with braided hemp rope rim. A very pretty blue glaze with highlights of green, white, and brown.

20140208-131450.jpg
An older mokko shape Shiro glazed pot from ???. I purchased this one from Iura San in Japan. The patina on this piece is outstanding. Despite heroic efforts on my part, the identity of the potter remains a mystery.

20140213-114541.jpg
Anybody?

20140208-131940.jpg
A small mame or accent from Yokoyama San. This was a gift from Owen Reich. The construction is single block and solid, and the blue green glaze is very nice.

20140208-132115.jpg
And we’ll finish up today’s collection post with this very uniquely glazed mokko shape pot of many colors, from Yokohama Guild potter 安幸-”Yasuiko”.
A really nice swirling mix of creams, blacks, blues and greens.

Thanks for Reading, and don’t forget to check out the current round of Bonsai Classifieds auctions on Facebook. Some nice stuff going over there, from myself and others!

20140213-114520.jpg

20140213-122129.jpg

20140213-122136.jpg

Posted in Modern Potters, My Personal Collection | 3 Comments

A Hanging

Kind of a dramatic title, don’t you think? No, this post will not be about crime, punishment, and the noose, but rather, stuff to put up on the wall in my bonsai workshop and pottery room.
I came across this painted cloth from famous bonsai potter and painter Fujikake Yuzan a couple of weeks ago, and thought it would be something nice to hang in the bonsai workshop and pottery display room, among the Naka drawings and occasional scroll.
It’s very large, close to 4 feet, although the cloth itself is only around 3 feet long.

20140208-114814.jpg
Hanging in my pottery room.

The cloth depicts the “kitsune no yomeiri”, or “Fox’s Wedding.” In Japanese folklore the Fox’s Wedding is a personification of unexplained lights or a “sunshower”, where it is raining but the sky is clear and the sun shining, what we in the American South call “The Devil Beating his Wife.” Folklore surrounding the sun shower is some fascinating reading, and I’ve long been enamored of the stories in folklore, and have written about them before on the blog in a previous post on Shunka Shouzan:
Fox’s Wedding in the Shunka Shozan Article

For more on the “Fox’s Wedding” in Japanese Folklore, go read this, it’s an awesome article in a great blog:
Kitsune No Yomeiri: The Fox Wedding
Outside of Japan, in the majority of the rest of world, it is also regarded as the marriage of animals or devils, and include wolves, foxes, jackals, and hyenas, in addition to “the devil”. What is fascinating is that all of the animals in the various parts of the world are “tricksters” or devious gods in the local folklore, and it bears mention to note that even in the American Southern version, this theme holds true, as we can certainly classify “the Devil” as our local “trickster god”, and his marriage is implied in the statement.

20140208-122404.jpg

20140208-122547.jpg
Two classical paintings or triptychs from the mid 1800′s showing the Fox’s Wedding.

20140208-114745.jpg
So, enough about the history, here’s a detail view of the painting I picked up. The painting, as previously mentioned, is by Fujikake Yuzan, one of the most well regarded painters of bonsai pottery of the latter half of the 20th century. For more on Yuzan and other works, see these previous posts:
Fujikake Yuzan
Gold Accented Fujikake Yuzan
A Very Interesting Yuzan

20140208-114753.jpg
Detail of the procession and the Bride.

20140208-114800.jpg
Fujikake Yuzan Hanko and Rakkan.

Thanks for reading, up next, more “Pots From My Collection”.

Posted in Famous and Antique Potters, My Personal Collection, Uncategorized | 1 Comment