Friday, February 24, 2012


Illustrated is another picture from our trip to see the collection of Alice and Halsey North.  This "object" made by veteran Shigaraki artist, Kohyama Yasuhisa is also the cover illustration for the catalogue of their collection by Joe Earle, entitled; CONTEMPORARY CLAY; JAPANESE CERAMICS FOR THE NEW CENTURY. Having had the opportunity to spend some time observing Kohyama work, it is fascinating to see the object take on mass as coil after coil are built up and the clay is studied for the point at which he will facet the clay. Like a skilled diamond cutter, he studies the form as it is being constructed and quickly and without  hesitation, he "cleaves" the form to leave the object as it was seen in his mind's eye.

This wonderful "object" is entitled, WIND (FUNE). In person, the sculptural pot is enlivened with a shimmering surface of thin green glass at the top of the form and fly ash overall. The monumental presence creates a sense of movement as if defiantly standing sentinel against the wind, the vessel is frozen in perpetual motion. Easily my favorite among the array of pieces in the North collection, the Kohyama soars between the established tradition and vanguard of modern yakishime pottery.

(Pictures taken and used with the kind permission of Alice and Halsey North)