Friday, June 17, 2016
I know there is a tendency to want decorated pots by Hamada Shoji, especially those with sugar cane motifs or wispy and casual overglaze enamels but over the years I have seen a number of unadorned pieces that have as much or more to say with so much less. I came across this pot recently and was struck by the utter elemental grace of the bowl. The slight undulation of the form is echoed in the lip and waisted line filled to the brim with deep brown ameyu amber spilling over the cut line to flow freely down the face of the chawan and mirrored again in the edge of the kodai. It will sound cliché but only a master could make a bowl in such an unconscious, nonchalant manner with a less is more approach and end up with a chawan that can communicate across cultures and time. In a thousand years people will look back at pots just like this, free of clutter and the superfluous elements of virtuosity and reason that clarity plus simplicity equals Hamada Shoji.