Wednesday, February 26, 2014


This Shigaraki kinuta vase is by Furutani Michio whose construction of the pot, placement in the kiln and exceptional firing have created a lyrical pot that is literally "painted with fire". Like the sun rising over some distant mountain range, this mallet vase is all about landscape, literally a painting in three dimensions created by bare tsuchi-aji, natural ash and hi-iro. Furutani is arguably the best potter to use an anagama from both Iga and Shigaraki pottery during the 20th century. His works builds on a medieval tradition and it is his sensitivity to material and fire that has left a body of work that present such phenomenal blend of katachi and keshiki (form and landscape surface). Given the large number of these forms that Furutani has left, he must have had an affinity and comfort with making them with each one proving to be an exercise in form and foresight as to how and where they would be fired. These simple pots present a narrative that is weathered and understated and though created in the chaotic atmosphere of the anagama carry a tranquil and eloquent tone that will inspire for many generations to come.