Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Illustrated is a very large and bold Iga vase by one of my favorite contemporary Iga potters, Kojima Kenji.  Standing sentinel, this is a very gestural piece, though it has a monumental presence and the interaction between clay and fire has created a very evocative surface. Between the rich fire red hi-iro and areas of ash and bidoro, the pot is swept in a variety of changing tones and effects.  Though very decidedly Iga, or possibly Ko-Iga, this vase shows the influences of Bizen pottery, which is where Kojima served his early pottery apprenticeship. I see this in a lot of his earlier works and occassionally, even now, some elements of Bizen-yaki creeps into his pottery. I think at the end of the day, when you are dedicated to producing medieval style works, there will always be some general overlap between many of the ancient Roku-koyo and I think this pot admirably displays the cross currents of the older, medieval wood fired traditions.

"We perceive and are affected by changes too subtle to be described." Henry David Thoreau