Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Within the numismatic community there is a term that describes the patina of exceptional brilliant uncirculated coins, the term is gem luster. As soon as I saw this wonderful Kato Takuo that is exactly what sprung to mind. The process to creating such a piece appears somewhat simple, the chaire is thrown, bisque and then it has blue underglaze applied and then it is dipped in a low-fire faience style white glaze and fired. Once fired, the ochre based luster is applied, dried and then additional decoration is scratched through the design, sgraffito style. The piece is then refired, again at low temperature though in a reduction atmosphere and presto-chango, Persian luster. Now, I did say the process seemed simple but if you have ever tried it, it is anything but. The ability to create such a fine gem is honed by experience and I am also assuming a fair number of failures prior to getting to this level. Even among the great potters, like Kato Takuo, making pottery and getting the pot from out of your mind's eye is a rocky road paved with trial and error which hopefully leads you to your point of destination and the reward of success.
"All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then Success is sure."  Mark Twain