Monday, March 24, 2014


As an artist in clay and ink, there is a tremendous amount one can say about Fujihira Shin (1922-2012), let it suffice to say he followed his inner voice and by doing so, others gathered round to see what he and his works had to say. Filled with elements of lyrical narratives, his spontaneous and playful work was imbued with a spirited naiveté that was infectious. Beyond the playfulness and whimsy, it is passion at the core of Fujihira's work; a passion for clay, imagery, storytelling and most evidently in the making. It is hard to look at these pieces and not feel the exuberance and ardor of the maker.
Though Fujihira Shin is mostly associated with hand built or coil built pottery, he did throw occasionally and the illustrated tsubo is just such an example. Made earlier in his career, this small ao blue tsubo is beautifully decorated with incised persimmons surrounding the form. Appearing like they are ripe and ready to pick, these crisp delicacies are a popular food and image used throughout Japan and many times makes on think of  the sometsuke of Kondo Yuzo. The decoration was rendered in a crisp manner imitating the fruit itself and the glaze has cooperated to deepen the color of the incised design and add dimension and movement to not only the fruit but the pot as well. Though a rather common design, Fujihira has captured the nature of the persimmons and his passion for the process all in one small blue glazed pot.
"Passion though a bad regulator, is a powerful spring." Ralph Waldo Emerson