Wednesday, March 29, 2017


Though there are several major categories for defining Ki-Seto glazes, I like to think of them in to only two distinct, broad styles; dry and wet surfaces. The illustrated tsubo falls in to the drier surface category which cloaks the clay and gives way to a myriad of variations in the color and texture all of which paint the identity of the maker in to and on to the pot. This particular Ki-Seto tsubo was made by Ningen Kokuho potter, Kato Kozo and shows the influences of Mino's Momoyama heritage not to mention that of his master, Arakawa Toyozo. Thrown with a definite attention to the wheels rhythm, this pot was paddled a bit flat on opposing side which he used as his canvas, embellished with a quick and fluid grass decoration on either side and then glazed in his distinctive glaze. The rich color and texture highlight this tsubo from mouth all the way to the transitional area above the foot with ash "pebbles" bubbling up around the mouth where the glaze was a bit thicker and the surface percolated to create these fine gems. As gravity took over, some areas of the glaze ran, creating glassy ash runs making their way to the cut foot ring and adding a bit more drama to the canvas. I like this type of pot and Ki-Seto surface that sets the mind to thinking about the past, present and future of a tradition and makes it even more difficult to walk away from a conversation cut short with so much left to talk about.