Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Starting in the early 90’s, we were fortunate to take a number of trips to Japan. One of the real eye opening experiences that came along with this was the lengthy plane rides that went with getting to and from. Departing from Cleveland or New York, you are able to see the country from a wonderful perspective giving new insights into the heartland as well as such incredible sights as the Grand Canyon and eventually Mount Fuji from 30,000 feet. One outcome of this travel was seeing the farmland of not only the US, but Japan from an entirely new vantage point. The sectioned and furrowed farmland, rivers and roadways painted a wonderful design that I translated into a wide ranging series of designs I refer to as Landscapemen.

I use the Landscapeman design primarily in the tebori carved ware, black and white slipware and the ishime-ji inlaid engobe pottery. The design has a myriad of uses as it is easy to adapt from form to form, from plate to jar and most pots in between. I have enjoyed using it and seeing the design morph as each style and pot are decorated in a somewhat spontaneous manner. The space, form, volume and curve all dictate how the design evolves on each pot. With each new pot, comes a different design. It surely keeps the process from becoming boring.

Illustrated is a mizusashi form; thrown in stoneware and decorated in a grey-black engobe and then has a white engobe inlaid in the incised decoration, the interior is glazed in a clear liner. The design was cut into the stoneware while still wet using a sharp knife made of bamboo. With each turn of the pot, the design changes and presents a different landscape that makes me anxious for my next plane ride!

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