Friday, October 21, 2011


Illustrated is a sweet Turoku-ao, Persian style guinomi by Kato Kenji (1933-2008). The soft curving bowl shape rests on a perfect pedestal style foot and is decorated with casual and fluid underglaze black decoration under a soda blue glaze. Kato Kenji was a veteran Mino potter who made works in a wide variety of traditional styles, but in my mind, he was a Persian specialist. His Persian styles consisted of this wet, transparent glaze, a thicker, more opague blue glaze and his overglaze enamel decoration in Persian, almost Scythian motifs. Though greatly influenced by various archetypes, Kato Kenji’s pots are readily identifiable as his work. Though modern (20th century) in exectution, the one thing that Kato captured above all others, is a sense of timelessness. When encountered, there is that lingering question, are these new or are they old?