In this post we’ll take a look at glazed and unglazed pieces I’ve added to my shelves since collection post 11.
A fantastically glazed, lipped rectangle from the Bushuan top shelf line of pots. Its no secret to longtime readers of the blog that I’m a huge fan of his work, my logo tree Miyasama Kaede is in a bicolor blue and white one. You can hit the table of contents for many more posts about Fukuda Shigeru’s Bushuan kiln, my favorite among contemporary potters.
From the opposite side. It’s easy to see why Bushuan pots are so often compared to Tofukuji. His mastery of Yohen, or kiln change, glazes is spectacular and unique. Compared to other contemporary potters who specialize in such multicolored glazes, like Echizen Bunzan, Yoshimura Shuho, and Juko, he stands head and shoulders above the pack.
A very old, large blue round with cut feet and gold plate repair from Sansyu Ichiyo. Ichiyo pots are highly desirable and very easily matched with trees, so it’s unavoidable that the vast majority of the ones of usable size have some damage. Ichiyos seem to be especially delicate at the rim, as almost all of the ones I’ve seen over 8″ have some rim chips. The gold repair work done on the chips on this piece is well executed and nice, I have an antique Chinese piece where the plate is flaking off, revealing some type of cement or epoxy. The gold in these repairs feels solid and doesnt scratch easily. The pot has a very nice patina as well, though some scale to one side will have to be dealt with this summer.
A much smaller mokko shape blue glazed Ichiyo. This one also has some minor lip chips, but they’re hardly noticeable. The patina on this piece is nice as well. Ichiyo’s blues are very distinctive, though he’s really famous for his greens.
A side by side for comparison of the differing blue glazes.
A shallow round oribe-ish nanban style by Nakano Yuuji, Gyozan. Glazed pots by Yuuji are rare, small shallow glazed ones rarer still, and rustic pots almost nonexistent. A trifecta rarity! Can’t wait to find an elegant shohin or Chuhin Bunjin-ji deciduous or flowering tree for it!
A small hand formed Terebineri Heian Tofukuji with an iron or cinnabar ish glaze. I may have shown this one before, I couldn’t remember. Rustic and individual, trademark Tofukuji.
A shallow, unglazed rectangle from 1st Generation Heian Kozan. Although the signature is “Kozan” and not “Koso”, as in pots made after 1973, from the clay body, the signature, and the style I still believe this to be a late in life pot. Possibly late 60s or early 70s. From the clean, rigid lines one can easily see why Heian Kozan is nicknamed “The Razor.” I think a formal upright Sugi or small Ezomatsu would work well here. Something with very small, very short needles.
Signature in porcelain on underside.
Mokko shape woven basket carved unglazed red clay Sruga Yamasyou. I’ve featured Yamasyou on the blog before, his carvings are intricate and masterful, influencing a whole generation of carving potters who followed him, like Bigei.
Signed and double stamped, an indication of a potters pride.
A big, Old Chinese indigo rectangle with lip, incised corners, and cloud feet.
I estimate the age at about 60 years old, maybe a little more. The glaze is nice and a decent patina has started to form.
Detail of glaze on rim showing some crystal formation and patina.
A rustic brown nanban by rarely seen(in the west) Tokoname potter Fukuho. really nice rustic, warm feeling to the pot, with a sense of dignity and age much greater than its 30 or so years.
A small rich red clay square from another little seen Tokoname potter in the west, Togen. The clay slip decoration to the outside is pronounced and very nice. This technique isn’t often seen in the East, but much more frequently used by Western potters. Togen made excellent quality pots, they’re a real value buy now in Japan.
An old black clay classic lipped, cut foot rectangle in dark blue from Aiba Koyo. Very nice patina to this 9″ pot…it’s begging me for a Winterberry or a red Maple!
Thanks for checking out pots from my collection 13, Up Next, From My Collection 14(Antique Chinese), and then Takao Koyo and Tsukinowa Yusen. Posts are also in the works on ShoAmi, Hikosanjin, and some of the most famous Kutani potters around: Ikko and Senzo.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned.
I’m kept pretty busy these days looking for pots from Japan for the Artisans Cup, but if anyone else is in need of top quality display pieces, drop me a line, I’m already looking 😉
Collection 13 is a good example that not all old pots are desirable for ones bonsai. Some are very beautiful and some are not as good as standard chinese pots. Age does not necessarily equate to beauty and damaged pots should not ever be used.
I’m sure you mean the Ichiyo with Gold repair, and I disagree Fred. A bit of an analogy is in order. It’s entirely like the difference between a yamadori and purpose grown tree(for more on this, see Michael Hagedorn’s post on the subject: http://crataegus.com/2013/01/03/the-difference-between-yamadori-and-pot-grown-part-iii/)
To paraphrase with a different context:
These pots just feel different, standing in front of them. While a contemporary Chinese container used in a composition connects us to the Bonsai artist who chose the pot for the composition, an antique container connects is to the dozens of other Bonsai it has contained through the decades. A feeling of antiquity and dignity that can only be matched by a tree with a similar feeling.
Would a field grown maple be appropriate for a pot with gold repair? No. A gnarled and damaged literati Witch Hazel with golden flowers and deadwood in that Ichiyo pot…or a massively damaged yamadori Hornbeam showing significant sabamiki, shown with bright gold and red leaves in the fall…yes.
Sure these pots are much harder to use than new pots, in much the same way yamadori are much more difficult to style than trees purpose grown for bonsai. In both cases, the styling, or potting, decisions were made by nature versus the hand of man.