Wednesday, March 1, 2017


I stumbled across this photo of a rather simple Iga chawan by Banura Shiro the other day and it has played in my mind like a moebius loop. The form is streamlined and has a noble sense, almost elegant with a rich orangey brown surface that has a perpetual wetness to the chawan while the "crumbly" texture of the mouth and transitional area bordering the foot act to frame the streamlined decoration of marsh grass decorated in an almost flat, metallic black with gold highlights. The grasses immediately call to mind the pathos of Momoyama painting and poetry that acted as a foundation for the Rimpa painters and more than a few poets all who strove to create atmosphere and emotion within their brushstrokes be they on clay or paper. The appeal to many of Banura's work is the sense of poetry and lyricism that is captured in such a small amount of clay and just a few, well placed and defined brushstrokes.

"I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey work of the stars." Walt Whitman