Friday, June 24, 2016


Looking like a thin, fresh coating of snow allowing the earth to peek through, this Shino chawan  paints a elegant picture in tones of pure white, rich iron red and fiery orange on a buff  mogusa clay. Made by long time veteran and rennaissance potter, Kishimoto Kennin, this chawan has all the tell tale signs of his work from strong and purposeful form, well addressed lip and kodai to a glaze that is a blend of the Momoyama ideal with elements of his modernism. The milky quality of the Shino glaze with areas that allow the iron painted underglaze to show through remind me of simple Momoyama ink painting (suiboku-ga) and grab my attention while the tapered form with the inward curve at the lip asks to be picked up and handled a bit. Among all pottery it is this intimate connection that makes the chawan so appealing and though I certainly appreciate large pots and sculptural ceramics, is there anything more elemental than the feel of a good bowl in the hand?