Friday, April 15, 2016


Illustrated is a simple, straight forward Kawai school wan-gata chawan by Kawai Hisashi (b.1942). Influenced by Kawai Kanjiro, this bowl combines what he learned from his teacher(s) and creates a fusion of the personal and the learned from the rich tessha tetsu-yu glaze to the chrome green splashes originally favored by Kawai Kanjiro. Kawai Hisashi first learned the use of the pottery wheel in Yasugi (1960) and later studied with Kawai Kanjiro and Kawai Takeichi, a contemporary of Mukunoki Eizo starting in 1961. Born in Yasugi which was also the hometown of Kawai Kanjiro, Hisashi went on to establish his own kiln and currently works in Shiga Prefecture where he creates Kawai influenced Mingei pottery and is known for his wide variety of glazes from gosu and shinsha to tetsu-yu and shirahagi. The decoration on this chawan resembles a 1950's abstract expressionist painting where  the chrome green splash has sunk into the tessha glaze creating a wide array of effects that break up the nearly perfect and serene reflective tessha surface creating a sense of chaos within the clam field of the surface. I should also mention that it is this "splashed" chrome green that Warren MacKenzie has popularized here in the United States showing how influential was the work, technique, glazing and teaching of Kawai Kanjiro and how understandable it is that those who studied directly with the master have been inspired by him while creating pots that have as much to say about the maker as they do the great teacher.

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