Friday, December 27, 2013


Illustrated is a casual photo of a superb pot sent to me by a collector friend. Though like the casual photo, the pot is also rich in symbolism and movement with the feeling of being both relaxed and immediate. This horai, iron glazed mizusashi was made by Shimizu U'ichi (1926-2004) and reflects the spirited nature of winter with the balance of the austere black iron and the fluffy white glaze with the quick rendition of the kanji for flower and moon ( and snow just out of view) etched through the white with the finger, like painted snow of a by-gone  and well practiced literati master. Working out of Shiga, originally a native Gojo-zaka potter from Kyoto, Shimizu makes use of clay and materials from the Hira Mountains which divide Kyoto from Lake Biwa and Shigaraki. Beyond creating a unique vision in iron and celadon glazes, the works of Shimizu U'ichi reflect the blend of the rustic,  the cultured and the brevity and serendipitous that is evoked in the environment and pottery that surrounded this 20th century master.