Monday, February 10, 2014

WOOD & CLAY

Illustrated on the left is an austere and weathered wooden kizuchi style mallet, in its own way, it has a sculptural presence and is classical mingei. It is mallets exactly like this one that have inspired potters to turn wood in to clay over a number of centuries and this particular example makes a great test subject. The pot on the right is a rather old haiyu glazed kinuta vase by "ex-salary man" and Mashiko staple; Takeuchi Shugo. Created rather early in his pottery career, probably in the mid-1970s, this piece is another simple and casually thrown pot with just the right balance of proportions, throwing marks and gesture to make for a successful form. The use of a thick and runny ash glaze creates further movement in the pot creating dark areas where the glaze has settled in to the throwing lines and the way the glaze is running down the neck creates a wonderful vertical sense to the piece as well as creating a rich pool in the depressed area of the shoulder. Though made early on, this pot shows the individuality, skill and sense of proportion of form that has set Takeuchi Shugo's pottery apart from most potters today.

"That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of our times."  John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)