Friday, April 10, 2015


I can only imagine that making pots for over six decades can lead to a number of adventures, discoveries and achievements especially if you live in the heart of the Mino ceramic tradition. Such is the case for veteran potter Kishimoto Kennin who has explored and conquered a wide array of Mino styles as well as mastering the art of kannyu style celadon and Iga wood firing. Along the way, Kishimoto studied and mastered the basics of Shino, Oribe and Ki-Seto solidifying a foundation that would in time lead to his modern works. His classic and traditional styles showcases his unique approach, creativity and firing techniques which have left behind an impressive and rather individualistic body of work.
Illustrated is a classic Ki-Seto chawan by Kishimoto Kennin. The form is definitely Momoyama inspired and the contrast of the wet and dry surface is a result of layers of natural wood ash depositing on the face of the bowl. This process has created a rich surface where the ash has landed to where it feathers out away from the center of the bowl making for a very modernist landscape. This style of bowl has a wonderful full feeling in the hand and the contrast between wet surface and the drier ash makes for a unique tactile experience that only wood firing can create. Few potters can boast such diverse expression across such a wide array of styles and traditions, thus securing Kishimoto Kennin a spot among a select group of potters of modern Japan.

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