Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I have been fascinated by Persian blue glazed pots for a long while. In the Boston MFA, there are a number of great Islamic pots, including some Raqqa wares. The subtly luminescent quality of the glaze is just wonderful and shows off the underglaze work to its best possibility.

I believe I got my first water blue glaze formula from Kirk Mangus or Linda Arbuckle in 1993 and I started working with the glazes and had a show of the first successful works in 1994. I used a fritted egg shell white and a rich red earthenware as my clay bodies. I made larger water jugs, pitchers, serving bowls, teabowls and teapots. I found the glaze just irresistible. Over the years I have continued to play with several “water blue” glazes and have tended to work with small intimate pots.

As a collector, modern pottery in Persian blue glazes are among my favorite. I particularly likes the works of Kato Kenji, Kato Takuo and Matsumoto Saichi. All three work in a style reminiscent of older Islamic pottery with a slightly modern twist. Good modern Persian influenced work is not seen to often, but when you see it you recognize it immediately.
(Large Persian influenced double gourd vase with underglaze black and gold leaf decoration by Matsumoto Saichi. From a private collection.)

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