“In the old days people didn’t worry about how a pot looked,” said Sataro-san. “They didn’t worry about if it was black or brown, as long as you could use it. In the old days kuromon was made for you or me, for everyone! Now people (ie; potters) want to make fancy pots – modern pottery – I don’t understand it.”
I have thought about this comment from the Leila Philip book, THE ROAD THROUGH MIYAMA, for quite a while. Over time, I have come to understand that with the industrial revolution, the art of the hand made has changed to aesthetic consideration first, utility second. With the mechanized creation of pottery, many considerations that were a priori are now outdated, even anachronistic. The advent of the “art potter” has driven most potters to create work that defines them and calls out for individual attention and distinction. As the necessity of utility has been stripped away, a potter could stretch his wings and push the horizons of the possible. This may be both the positive and negative aspects of making pottery in the modern age.
“Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.”
(Illustrated is a pierced Oribe influenced fruit bowl that I threw and glazed in my medieval green glaze.)