Friday, September 9, 2016


There is absolutely nothing like the strong posture of a chawan by Kawai Kanjiro. The wide, bold foot acts as a defining pedestal to what at first glance looks like a common bowl form but with closer inspection it shows its user friendly attributes where it sits well in the hand, has an appropriate weight and the lip is out turned just enough to let slip the right amount of liquid. All of these considerations were honed by Kawai over a lifetime of work and experience, through trial and error and an eye for the simplest yet often overlooked details, the master creates a work that has been stripped to the least amount of detail yet creates a pot of supreme beauty and utility. This wan-gata style chawan has a rich iron temmoku glaze over areas of thick slip "patted" on to the surface dividing the bowl in to sections and creating visual depth and movement but born of equal parts clay, glaze and a little bit of magic. There is mastery and mystery married in the works of Kawai Kanjiro that has as much meaning and relevance today as they did over well over five decades ago which can be summed up in one word; timeless.