Not all trees are ready for a 1,2, or 300 dollar pot, and many enthusiasts simply don’t have the funds or desire for the more expensive and collectible of Japanese potters. While I maintain that, for the most part, you get what you pay for as it concerns bonsai pottery(especially on the low and extremely high end!), there are many great potters who produce (relatively!) inexpensive pots that are very nice and tasteful, many from the Tokoname region of Japan. Here are a few of my favorites, with some of their work.
Very Special thanks to Mr. Takeyoshi Kojima of the Tokoname Yuyaku Company for permission to use images and information from their site catalogs. All of the pots shown here can be purchased from the Tokoname Yuyaku, visit their gallery listing of pots here:
All images used in this post are Copyright by the Tokoname Yuyaku Company.
Pots by Yamafusa
Yamafusa brand pots are made by Koie Kazufusa. His pots are almost always glazed, and are made with very classical, clean shapes. His colours are a little milder than many other potters, for this reason his pots fit a wide range of deciduous trees well.
Pots By Shibakatsu
Shibakatsu bonsai pots are made Shibata Shoichi. Most of his pots are mold constructed, but a few handmade and slab built pots are made every now and again. His glazes are bright, rich, and deep, and as a result they often need a little aging and patina before they begin to look right with a tree. One of my personal favorite value potters for shohin size pots.
Pots By Reiho Shouzan
Not exactly a “Bang for your Buck” potter, as his pots range from 60$-400$ or so, depending on size, but included here because his pots are readily available and a significant value for the money. They can often be found used for very reasonable prices. Pots made under the Reiho brand name are made by Katoaka Katsuishi, son of Seizan potter Katoaka Makoto. His glazes are very clean, rich, and elegant, and his unglazed pots, especially drums, are quite nice as well. For Medium to Large size pots, Reiho is tops among value potters.
Pots By Hattori
Pots made by Hattori Tomoyuki feature modern and classical shapes and range in glaze color from muted and understated, to bright rich, and crackled. A significant value class potter, one of my favorites for Chuhin sized pots. Look for the signed ones over the stamped ones, in my experience they have the most unique glazes and higher quality. Contrary to popular opinion, this does not hold true for all potters, some potters stamp their best work, some sign.
I hope you enjoyed this first part of my Bang for the Buck Potters series. In the next post Ill be covering pots by relatively unknown master carver and potter Zeshin, the Tim Burton of bonsai pottery, whose carving pots are often surreal, strange, and downright trippy. If you thought Nick Lenz made some weird looking pots….