In contrast to the last article dealing with the highly refined and detailed work of Kutani Ikko, in todays article with deal with the whimsical and playful painted pottery of Heian Shouami.
The first generation “Shouami”(昭阿弥), whose given name was 高野網一(Takaya Amiichi) was born in 1905 in Kyoto, and passed away in 1993. Beginning in 1930, he studied pottery and painting under the famous Kyoto potter 柴田如阿(Shibata Joa). He passed away in 1993, passing the reigns on to his son, 高野進二郎(Takaya Shinjiro…interesting note, the sons name, 進二郎, if my translation is correct, means “Progress of the second Son”). The second generation Shouami is in current production.
Shouami is well known in Japan as a master of Kyo-Yaki ceramics. They specialize in making eating utensils, tea ceremony items, and other ceramics, in a very traditional Kyoto style. Bonsai pot production has been by special request and commission only, consequently, the numbers of Bonsai pots around are relatively low. That being said, they’re still relatively inexpensive as painted containers go, around the low end of the middle range.
The pots shown here are both first and second generation. To my eye, there is very little stylistic difference.
Now, on to the pots!
A traditional landscape in panel with alternating panels of Kyo-Yaki style geometrics. Compare this piece to other famous Kyoto potters whose work has similar designs, like Yusen and Takao Koyo, and even painted pots made by Tofukuji.
A whimsical painting of children.
Since Shouami is famous for tea ceremony items and other wares, I think I would be remiss if I didn’t show a few of them to showcase the full breadth of the work.
Thanks for reading! I hope you’ve enjoyed this profile of potter and painter Shouami!