Friday, May 10, 2013


To my eye, this is no ordinary kodai. Though simple, it has a studied complexity that harkens back to Ko-Karatsu style pottery; the chirimen-kodai, crinkled silk crepe texture, immediately identifies the pot as Karatsu ware, a common trait among southern works(Kyushu-mono). The classic and timeless kodai is crisp and sharply cut, the texture standing out from within the kodai creating a wonderful visual landscaped microcosm. The foot-ring bares the marks of the cut-off cord, that separates the bowl from the wheel head, adding to the swift and spontaneous nature in which the kodai was addressed. This foot was cut by Tanaka Sajiro (b.1937), a master of Karatsu-yaki whose works show a life dedicated to the study of this regional pottery. Tanaka is a man of many talents having studied Zen Buddhism, chanoyu, ikebana, calligraphy, poetry and of course pottery making. Having excavated Ko-Karatsu kiln sites, he studied the manner of their manufacture and firing, in this way, started on the path to making Karatsu-yaki. There are few potters as adept and thoughtful in their creation of Karatsu ware as Tanaka and his kodai are among the very finest.

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