Friday, November 12, 2010


I mentioned in a previous post, how it was easy to identify the pots of Hori Ichiro, just looking at the foot, kodai. The truth is this can be said for most of the better Japanese potters. Yes, the kodai will change from pot to pot as well as over time, but there are always the tell-tale idiosyncratic characteristics that point to the maker. When you look over the feet of Arakawa Toyozo, Kato Tokuro, Kawai Kanjiro, Shoji Hamada and many others, the kodai shapes the pot and lets a viewer know who made the piece. In a way, the kodai acts as a signature, especially for those who do not sign their works and is the most difficult part to fake for those who would do so.

Illustrated is the wonderful and powerful kodai of a Seto-Guro chawan by Hori Ichiro. Though it shows some influences of his teacher, Kato Kozo, I find his kodai to be exceptionally individual in approach. The casual appearance of the foot and base hides the reality of years of trial and error, study and repeated experience to create so grand a foot. It doesn’t have the appearance of being “fussed” with or contrived. To my eye, it has all the characteristics of a great foot and as I am constantly reminded, the devil is in the details……………….