Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Illustrated is a close-up detail of the interior of an Ono Hakuko chawan. The bowl is covered over in a rich and deep Persian blue style glaze that is further complicated by a network of tiny crazes about the surface which gives the pot even more depth and is nearly impossible to gauge the age of the piece. The cut gold leaf foil creates an evocative star-burst pattern on the bowls interior and the specks that you see on the glaze surface is not some defect, but rather tiny bits of gold that have risen to the surface from the foil below. In the right light they sparkle and reflect golden tones and remind one of distant stars in a rich azurite blue sky at dusk.
Though the kinsai, underglaze gold technique originated in China and was used by the pioneering talent, Kato Hajime, Ono studied and perfected this technique while thoroughly making it her own and a signature style. Using cut solid gold leaf foil, she created a number of abstract and geometric pattern as well as more organic and flowing designs based on nature all the while being ever thoughtful of creating a fitting harmony between the form, decoration and glaze. This particular chawan is an excellent example of her marriage of design and form with the sun-burst pattern seemingly radiating outward from the center as well as crashing back into the interior which creates a wonderful sense of constant, even dynamic movement.