Wednesday, October 24, 2012


It is not necessarily an easy thing to admit, to come face to face with, but I have an addiction. I am a form addict, a form junkie if you will. It is forms that first capture my attention, not material, not surface, it is the form that first communicates with me on an intellectual and very visceral level. The stronger and more honest a form, the greater is the attraction. Over the years, I have come to understand how it is that I can love a wonderful seiji vase and an Iga mizusashi with equal enthusiasm, the common denominator is the form and how it commands space and the volume it struggles to contain. The form is also the seeming contradiction between the exterior, which is laid bare and the mystery of the interior. Add to this that each form can act as a metaphor for whatever the mind conjures; so what could really be more important than the form of a good pot?
Illustrated is a paddled vase that speaks about form accompanied by decoration and happenstance. This Mashiko vase was made by Shimaoka Tatsuzo (1919-2007) and the strong and purposeful form was decorated with his impressed rope decoration and then the pot was placed in a salt fired wood kiln with each facet of the pot complimenting the other. Without the great form, the surface and firing would have been for naught, but in this instance, all coalesce to create an exemplary pot.