Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Illustrated is a simple molded vase by Mashiko legend and Ningen Kokuho; Hamada Shoji. This piece was first molded and then had trails of slip applied as only the master could do and finally had pigment brushed vertically at various points to highlight the areas of pure white slip. The pot was then loaded and fired in a salt kiln creating this subtle but unique surface which in this case is covered in an extremely fine pebbled texture, likely fired somewhere in the back of the kiln, the front reserved for Hamada's best work and tea wares. Though hundreds of these pots were made, each is separate and distinct due to the individuality of not only the slip and brushwork but the effects and variations created in the salty atmosphere. I am particularly attracted to the slip decoration at the far left where the pigment has gone from a subtle blue at the top to a soft, spring like green at the bottom. I think the surface would keep even the casual viewer engaged in a conversation about all the distinct possibilities that salt has to offer.