Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Having grown up in a town with three large industrial plants, a large air force base and a state university, Plattsburgh, NY was always a festive place on St. Patrick’s Day. In my youth, I imagined Plattsburgh on March 17th to be like a smaller version of Mardi gras and even Playboy magazine agreed, naming Plattsburgh as one of the places to be on that day of green beer and unbridled debauchery all in the name of an Irish saint. Though neither my wife nor I are Irish, we have taken the day to heart and now celebrate it in a somewhat sedate way with a few Irish beers and a retelling of that classic John Ford film, THE QUIET MAN (1952).

Illustrated to honor the traditional green of St. Patrick’s Day is an Oribe chawan by one of the best potters to embrace the Momoyama revival, Suzuki Goro. This large wonky chawan has broad areas of Oribe green glaze splashed over the surface and embodies the meeting of the old and the new. Suzuki Goro is a master of various styles of Oribe as well as Ki-Seto, Seto-Guro and Shino. His ability to present such a happenstance style chawan belies the great skill it takes to manipulate a piece in such a naturalistic manner. For pottery lovers, maybe it really is a “pot” (like this chawan) at the end of the rainbow………..

(A large number and variety of Suzuki Goro’s works can be seen on David Callens’ website;
Just type in “Suzuki Goro” for a search.)

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