Friday, March 7, 2014


I have seen square form kinuta vases before, mostly older Chinese pieces and late Edo and Meiji Period Japanese examples. The coil built and thrown and altered examples seem to be mostly 20th century as far as I can tell, though I am open to evidence to the contrary. The modern "squared" kinuta are seen frequently, but not exclusively in Hagi and Bizen though in each case the forms differ quite a bit and move as far afield from the archetype as possible, maintaining enough of the characteristics to be recognizable. The illustrated Bizen vase was made by Kaneshige Michiaki in the 1980s. It was thrown and the form squared up using ribs and scrapers to define the geometry of the piece. The creative process is written all over the form where scratches add unintentional decoration to the pot that is completed with hi-iro, ash and bota-mochi areas where flame and ash were denied access. I find the totemic form exceptionally stoic and determined with a purity that is defined by lines and planes that are casual and weathered; the perfect blend of the Momoyama aesthetic and modern design.

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