Friday, April 14, 2017


At first glance the illustration is a bit ambiguous and certainly out of context but as you look at the photo, you can catch bits and pieces that may point you in one direction or another. What you are looking at is the bottom interior of a mizusashi and when you remove the ceramic lid you are first struck with the iridescent sheen that covers a great deal of the bottom of the pot which was finished with a crisp swirl to activate the interior though for most of the pots life, the interior is likely to remain a mystery to the viewer. In certain respects, lidded pots are like a well written mystery novel that as you move along from chapter to chapter the story unfolds and as a reader you are clued in as to what exactly is going on if you pay close enough attention. I think good pots are just the same, the allure and attraction of the form, surface and volume of the piece pulls you in and then you lift the lid to see the mysterious contents of the form, in this case  a rich wood fired surface of natural ash coating a Shino glaze to add warmth, depth and a sense of nobility to the pot. For some who have followed along, the pot is a sturdy, powerful Oni-Shino mizusashi which resembles a pair of stacked stones with a roughly thrown ceramic lid with this illustrated detail hidden within. I know it is easy to get lost in the details and lose sight of the whole but for a number of the truly gifted potters, the great details construct the great pots and in my opinion, Tsukigata Nahiko had the ability to create details which few can forget even over a lifetime of looking.