For a while I have been exchanging emails and photos with a collector in Japan who has a strong interest in the works of Kakurezaki Ryuichi and Kumano Kuroemon. He is primarily interested in pots he will use and has shared photos of his Kumano guinomi and tokkuri which look like that would be exceptionally enjoyable in the using. Large, generous and honest pots made to be used and stand the rigors of an intense firing, Kumano's pots have an unbridled masculinity and strength that few other modern potters infuse in to their pottery. When I think about Kumano, I am immediately reminded of Tsukigata Nahiko, not necessarily in the particular aesthetic but in the clay bravado and spirit which harkens back to the Samurai culture in certain respects. Illustrated is a photo the fellow collector sent recently after a visit to Kumano Kuroemon's studio in which "the Bear" is looking over a group of recently fired guinomi, most with their firing wads still attached. This is pottery in the raw, unfiltered and surely as honest as it get; a glimpse in to the heart of the process.
(Photo courtesy of a fellow collector)