Monday, June 18, 2012


Sometimes I think really good Persian blue pots are like some form of emotional drug for me. The cool, electric color is both visually and emotionally seductive and draws me to them like a moth to a flame. One problem with Persian blue is that very few potters make very good pots in that style. In Japan, there is only a handful that can pull of the technique; among them, Kato Kenji, I have mentioned more than once, as well as Kato Takuo and there is also his son and heir to the technique, Kato Kobei VII (b. 1945). Like his father, Kobei VII works in a wide array of styles, including sculptural vessels, various Mino traditions, and Persian (Mid-Eastern) luster-ware, tin glazed pottery, three color wares, and Persian blue. Though working in an idiom that his father had pioneered and made famous, Kobei's works are his own and are a fitting addition and legacy to the family kiln, the Kobei-gama.

Illustrated is a little, gem quality Persian blue chaire by Kato Kobei VII. The foliage and vine design is painted in silhouette with accents of solid gold foil under the electric blue glaze. The effect is intoxicating and draws to mind the poetry and paintings of the Orientalists from centuries past. The lid is made of the finest core female elephant ivory and the bag a splendid cross between Sosho-in  and Ruskin style textiles. It is a fitting and splendid chaire that admirably follows in those of his father's footsteps.

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