Friday, January 9, 2015


Illustrated is a small Bizen hanging vase hosting a vivid red chrysanthemum purportedly made by Takahara Kunihiko (B.1946), brother of Takahara Shoji. The original owner bought the vase in Bizen at a studio and jotted down Kunihiko's name (no box) but the mark is not deciphered, so I am calling it a nice, functional Bizen vase with a large botamochi area on the face surrounded by ash and vivid flashing here and there. The pronounced throwing rings and strong attached lugs animate the pot which is conversant without its guest, but the pot has been brought to life, in essence fulfilled, by the rich, single chrysanthemum, which completes the vase both aesthetically and functionally. It is always nice to see pots in use, out of their storage boxes and away from their sterile displays as the potter most often envisioned them. I can not help but be reminded of the famous Yanagi Soetsu maxim; "beauty born of use" and for a vase, what could be better than a traditional flower?

"Beauty provoketh thieves sooner than gold."  (As You Like It) William Shakespeare