Monday, July 20, 2015


I took this photo a week or so ago and was struck by not only the overall image but the completeness of the pot in use. The vase is by the late anagama master Furutani Michio and is the largest of this type of kakugata kake-ire that I have seen, measuring in at over 17" long and comes from one of the larger collections of Furutani pieces that I know of at over two dozen pieces. As can be seen in the photo, the vase was carefully fired on it side creating a face that clearly shows the scars and position of the piece in the kiln while the other angle of the face shows a coating of ash running toward the ridge that divides the front of the pot. The back of the piece is covered with rich glass creating a wonderful landscape that moves around the pot like a feudal emakimono. The use of vibrant red chrysanthemum bring the vase to completion and create a stunning counterpoint to the rustic and worn appearance of the pot. I am in constant awe of the beauty, serenity and nobility of the pots of Furutani Michio who as a modern potter was able to infuse his pottery with the essence of what it is to be Shigaraki or Iga while pursuing a singular personal voice that can be heard in his clay sometimes loud and clear and at other times a simple, subtle whisper.

"Truth exists for the wise, beauty for the feeling heart." Johann von Schiller (1759-1805)

(Used with the kind permission of a private collector.)

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