I recently received an unboxed chawan that was sent to me to try to uncover who had made it. The bowl was bought in Shigaraki in the mid-1980s and the owner had absolutely no recollection of the maker. It is a stout and well fired bowl but the mark was entirely covered over in natural ash glaze rendering it next to impossible to read. I had it on my desk, in front of the computer and I was using a 20 power loop to try to get a read on the mark and was getting no where so I pulled out my digital camera and set it on the highest resolution and just as I was to take the picture, my current research assistant and pottery helper decided he wanted a shot at it himself. In a proverbial, "I am ready for my close up" moment, instead of the bowl I ended up with an in your face photo of Khan the curious. Though he didn't help me uncover the maker, the use of the hi-rez picture did and I was able to determine the chawan was made by Furutani Churoku. It would have been much easier if I had the box or bio, but getting to the bottom of the matter was still made just a bit more fun with the aid of an inquisitive and curious feline.
"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats." Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)