Friday, August 19, 2016


Illustrated is a very fine Nezumi-Shino chawan by master Mino potter, Wakao Toshisada. Obviously influenced by the many Momoyama archetypes that are out there to study, this chawan has a strong presence which is softened just a bit by the cloak of feldspatic glaze which allows the simple, abstracted design to show through both slip and glaze. Simple enough in theory, a bowl is thrown and tooled and then dipped in a clay slip of a particular type of clay and the design is carved through back to the body or today, the decoration is created using wax resist. The bowl is then glazed and fired and the underlying slip darkens to an alluring grey color with accents of iron here and there, on occasion the slip blushes to a purple tone especially prized for its uniqueness as can be seen in the works of Kato Tokuro among others. The casual nature and posture of this chawan create a very inviting atmosphere that in certain ways contradicts but functions well within the strict formality of the modern Japanese tea ceremony. Few can achieve this balance bridging the formality of tea and the spontaneity of a well made pot though Wakao Toshisada repeats this every time he sits at the wheel.