Monday, May 23, 2016


Illustrated is a close up of the interior of a rather large (aren't they all) chawan by the Bear of Echizen, Kumano Kuroemon. Known as "GO" for the five drips in the mikomi, molten drips from pots above, shelves and the kiln itself have found their way to the bottom of the bowl and have run into one another to create a design reminiscent of an abstract plum blossom. There is a great deal of happenstance when firing a wood kiln, some good, some bad and that which is expected or hoped in one manner or another. I have seen a number of wood fired pots with seemingly random drips on interiors and exteriors and in the case of Kumano, a number of his chawan and hachi have such drips to testify to the volatility and ferocity of the molten ash that few potter's can get where the clay, glaze, kiln and potter are all at the borders of their physical limitations.

"A man who limits his interests, limits his life." Vincent Price (1911-1993)