Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Illustrated is a close-up of a Narumi-Oribe basket form by Mino legend, Hayashi Shotaro (b. 1947).  This pot is an early work of Shotaro and clearly shows the indelible touch and influence of his elder brother and teacher Hayashi Kotaro (1940-1981). Shotaro spent a seven year apprenticeship with his brother before striking out and establishing his own studio/kiln in 1974. This piece demonstrates the traditional ideals passed down from teacher to student and a continuity of style and design shared by brothers.

Oribe ware in general has a whimsical quality to it and this basket is no exception. This practical, yet entertaining form, is a bit unique to Shotaro, though if you look hard enough, I think you will find the shape somewhere in antiquity. The spontaneous and asymmetrical designs  animates and accentuates this form, making for a pleasant visual and functional experience. Though made early in his career, it is obvious that Hayashi Shotaro has a keen grasp of form and surface as passed on from the tradition and his brother's thoughtful and insightful instruction.

"It takes an endless amount of history to make even a little tradition." Henry James (1843-1916)

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