What is a gem? The dictionary describes it as follows; 1) a precious or sometimes semi-precious stone cut and polished for ornament 2) something prized especially for great beauty or perfection (excellence) 3) a highly prized or well-beloved person. Can this term, gem really be used as an adequate description of a pot, well I certainly think so but I am admittedly biased. The illustrated piece is in my book a textbook gem, it is a chaire by Tsukigata Nahiko that used to belong to a friend of mine. Though many may consider it Oni-Shino, I would classify it as Ko-Shino where the thin Shino is infused with ash and the shoulder has areas of rich brown textured and the runs are glassy, ending in bidoro. It is a dramatic and poetic pot that is housed in a tea masters signed box with three compartments for the three luxuriant shifuku accompanying the package. Though I am sure what comes to mind for most when speaking about gems is diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and rubies, this is what I think about when someone mentions gems around me.
"There are little gems all around us that can hold glimmers of inspiration." R. Mead