Friday, March 8, 2013


Illustrated is a close up of a Shigaraki mentori-tsubo by Kohyama Yasuhisa. Beyond the fact that his work stands unique and apart from most other wood fired pots in Japan and abroad, there is a singular uniqueness in how Kohyama-san fires and builds up ash on his pieces. Having researched and experimented in how he fires and what woods he uses, he is able to build up ash creating a pebblely texture which at times is reminiscent of the nodes which make up rayskin, same-gawa. It is a vivid and evocative texture created quite naturally, through skilled firing and this texture adds dimension to his already unique works. The ash pebbles cling to the work, defining the surfaces only relinquishing their grasp on the crisp and hard edges created through faceting the hardy Shigaraki clay. Though the visual texture is quite wonderful, it also adds to the way light plays with the surface, not to mention how wonderfully tactile the pot is to run your hand, carefully over the pot. Few if any other potter creates pottery with such vivid and timeless texture that harkens ones thoughts back to the age of the ancient Sueki wares. It is a rare and complex texture that is worthy of what modern Shigaraki has to say in the 20th and 21st centuries.

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