Wednesday, January 7, 2015


I recently received a very nice Shigaraki hanging vase by veteran and master potter, Kohyama Yasuhisa. Though small in stature, the piece exudes a determined and timeless presence with textbook Kohyama markings made around the pot. About two thirds of the pot are covered with a wonderful pebbly texture with a variety of color variations running from charcoal grey to vivid fire color orange. This texture is a throw back to old Sueki ware and is a trademark surface created by exacting firing, wood type and a unique baffle system at the rear of the kiln that controls not only temperature but flow throughout the kiln. The serene fire color dominates the back of the vase and the surface is punctuated by melting burst of feldspar across the entire piece but most notable on the rear, resembling small set jewels amid the clay. This pot was made in the mid-1990s and is just another example of the diversity and beauty of Shigaraki in the hands of a potter who understands the tradition and possibilities of both the process and materials.

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