Friday, December 11, 2015


I had another one of those conversations regarding kamakizu the other day and let's be clear for the record, the word is easily defined; kama = kiln and kizu = flaw. In this case they were extolling the virtues of kamakizu and the wabi/sabi aesthetic and how this enhances the keshiki landscape of a pot. Now I am all in on the fact that cracks in certain vessels add to the sense of austerity and rusticity of a pot but a vessel that is intended to hold liquid, especially hot liquids is made all the worse with a crack that leaks. All you need do is ask the little Dutch boy about cracks and get his two cents. In the numerous times that I have wood fired going all the way back to 1989, I have never once seen a potter in the US or Japan jump for joy when a pot came out with a crack that in essence negated its purpose. What was missing was any commentaries about aesthetics and wabi/sabi, not a whisper, a cracked pot is a cracked pot. I have written and firmly believe in the sense of scarred beauty as it relates to wood fired pots and even see the appreciation of a pot with a crack that stands as a visual testament to the fury and violence of the process. At the end of the day, a chawan, yunomi, mizusashi or what have you is intended to hold liquid first and foremost and when it fails at that task, how does a kamakizu enhance the piece in any real or tangible way?
(I know, not much in the way of a rant but I thought I would warn off anyone that wasn't particularly interested in my editorial position on this issue. Any rebuttals, responses, criticisms or objections can be addresses to my attorney at the law firm of Dewey, Cheatum and Howe.)

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