Wednesday, April 13, 2011


As most of you know, wood firing doesn’t allow for many mistakes of line or form. The pot either is or isn’t a wood fired pot. I think back to my first wood firing, anything was fair game for going into the kiln. The results were the beginning of my education with many of the pots looking horrible and should have never been wood fired, rather fired with glaze. Over the years as potter and collector, I have studied what makes a good wood fired pot using the Western and Eastern potters as examples from Kirk Mangus and Jeff Shapiro all the way to Kakurezaki Ryuichi to Kaneshige Toyo, Ningen Kokuho.

Illustrated is a classic, sturdy and simple form that stands the test for wood firing. This simple cylindrical Bizen vase was made by Yoshimoto Tadashi (b. 1944) who studied with legendary potter, Kaneshige Toyo. This vase exhibits a variety of ash effects from goma and sangiri to the vivid bota-mochi areas of bright orange bare to the clay body. This vase has it all and reminds me of one of those computer generated visions of some galactic far away nebula “burned” on to the clay surface. From my perspective, this pot was made to be wood fired…..