Monday, September 15, 2014


I know a book dealer who from time to time finds books on Japanese pottery and recently he found a nice set of five books on "famous" potters of the Showa period. As I unpacked the group, each in their own protective boxes, the first volume I pulled out immediately got my attention. On the full color dust jacket is a fine Tsukigata Nahiko kinuta vase. Being fond of not only the form, but the potter, I thought it rather telling that this was the pot chosen for the cover where all the other illustrations are B/W. Some of the other volumes had pictures of Koyama Fujio, Miwa Kyusetsu and Kusube Yaichi on the covers so obviously both author and publisher thought extremely highly of Tsukigata and his work. Illustrated is a photo of the book cover, a very fine and rustic looking Oni-Shino kinuta-hanaire, the surface is a rich blend of glassy and semi-dry ash creating a wonderful landscape and the fissures that are a by-product of a tumultuous and brutal firing add a charm to the pot, creating a timeless beauty. Having seen a number of this form by Tsukigata, I can say they have a great sense of strength and honesty that few pots can match. On occasion I use the term "book cover pot" to emphasize the importance and bearing of a piece, in this case it has that and so much more.

"You can't judge a book by its cover."  Old Anonymous Idiom