Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Kondo Yuzo (1902-1985) was arguably one of the greatest sometsuke potters of the 20th century and for his dedication to his art, he was made Juyo Mukei Bunkazai in 1985. I have always been captivated by the elegance and simplicity of most of his work and the stark white background plays perfect host for his bold and quick sometsuke blue brushwork.

Illustrated is a prepatory sketch for one on Kondo Yuzo’s small blue and white hachi plates and though the accompanying plate is less involved in design, you can easily see the fact that through his repeated painting of the persimmon, time and time again they appear nearly identical. Like Hamada Shoji who brushed his iconic “sugar cane” motif thousands of times, Kondo Yuzo has achieved the same repetitious spontaneity, characteristic among many of the great potters of 20th century Japan.

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