Monday, July 22, 2013


I doubt an average day goes by where you don't think, in hindsight, I should have zigged when I zagged or had a salad instead of that funky gyro from a street vendor. I think this is a common affectation that is hard wired into all of our conscious and unconscious thoughts. As a potter I can think about how on all too frequent an occasion, as a pot comes out of the bisque or glaze I think, I should have done this or that, tried this mark, this glaze combo, etc. In essence, it is easy to correct a pot in hindsight or at the very least, make it just a bit better and that is what the learning process is all about. There are very few pots that you can't find some minor fault with, but there are also those pots that try as you may, they seem to exist without any fault and there is no reasonable way to improve upon them, those pots are the rare ones.
Illustrated is a chawan that would be hard to improve upon. The proportions are classic and very strong, the foot is just broad enough without being too wide or tall, the lip  has an inviting curve to it that makes it easy to drink from and the surface is rich with a fine cross hatched fence pattern which articulates the form. Though by no means a wild bowl, there is subtle gesture which adds to the charm and nobility of the bowl and when it is all added up, the tally indicates  that this chawan would be hard to critique or find fault with. I would expect this type of chawan to come from the studied hand (and mind) of Kitaoji Rosanjin (1883-1959). His Shino works from the last decade of his life, show a combination of both a purely functional aesthetic together with a sense of the modern art movement of the 1950s. Even in hindsight, I think that what was good the day it was made, glazed and fired, is just as equally good today.
(Used with the kind permission of a private collector.)

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