My first impressions of this pot draws to mind an ancient stoic seated stone Buddha semi-covered in moss or a clay Haniwa figure of a warrior blanketed in shades of red, buff and greys as if right out of the fire; it processes a sense of the monolith or totem, while fusing together a feudal aesthetic and a bold presence of modernism. For me, a good pot has this ability, the pot looks to be defined by your experiences (and expectations) while creating new ones and glimpsing insight into the process, clay and firing of the potter. This noble vessel was made by the Iga veteran Kojima Kenji and is an amalgam of the ominous and the inviting, the energized and the calming and a great part of its function is to enrich and command its environment. Painted in hues of soft emerald green to dark and mysterious charcoal effects with a rich hi-iro on one side where one lug is attached and a deep fire born purple on the opposite, this piece is truly painted by the fire and ash. There are few pots by any single potter that encompass the vocabulary, the ABCs of a maker but this is everything one has come to expect from Kojima-san and an exciting addition to the tradition of a new century of Iga-yaki.
"It is necessary for a potter to plant both feet and listen to the song of the clay." Kojima Kenji
(Photo provided by and courtesy of the Robert Yellin Yakimono Gallery)