Friday, June 10, 2016


If you are in contact with fellow collectors there is the inevitability that a conversation will arise in which an owned pot is discussed in relation to another pot either available or just out in the ether. Owners tend to err on the side of ego and usually profess their piece to be better than the other and the debates that can arise if there is any hesitancy or disagreement can be quite heated. At times, the owned pot is the better piece, at other times it is the similar piece that is the superior piece. In some cases the decision is an easy one to make at other points the qualities are just more subjective in their judgment than objective but the real truth is as I am looking at two similar pots, whether I own it or a fellow collector does, my real thought process is thinking if I could only take the neck off this one and switch out the ash on the other I could have the best of both. As a potter and collector, I would like to think I am a realist, though I have a few nice pots and ones I am very happy with but if you compare them against the best pots of the various potters, many come up a bit short. I think it just boils down to human nature, especially for collectors who by their very nature are operating with some psychological deficit (!), allowing the subjective to rule the analytical process with the ability to be objective and clinical a distant concept that is easier understood in theory than in practice.

Illustrated is an excellent example of an Oni-Shino kinuta-hanaire by pioneer, Tsukigata Nahiko. This particular pot, owned by a fellow collector is illustrated in a book on the paintings and pottery of Tsukigata so I think it is safe to say that there is a certain amount of agreement that this is a superior piece. I am not going to say it is the best or that there could be better but let it suffice to say that I think you would have to stumble upon quite a number of similar examples to find a better one. In this instance when you compare and contrast this mallet to others the answer is obvious.

"Each one sees what he carries in his heart." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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