Monday, January 22, 2018


Every now and again I decide to revisit the vellum style blue glaze that I developed which was originally inspired by the works of Kato Kenji. Over the years I have used both the vellum glaze and a more translucent water blue based on an old Woody Hughes glaze formula and tweaked a bit to more fit my needs. The illustrated detail is a close-up of a bowl with black slip which is carved through to the clay and then glazed in the vellum blue which is inspired by Kato's toruku-ao showing the mirco-crazing across the surface and the build up of copper in the center of the bowl. I like this glaze quite a bit as it not only visually appeals to me but it has a soft, texture as you handle the pot adding to the experience. Created using copper as the colorant, copper blues have a wonderful appearance and date back to ancient Eygpt before making their way through the rest of the Mid-East and across the Silk Road before ending up in China and even Japan. In the past 50 years or so a number of Japanese potters have embraced the persian or Turkish blue glazes the most notable of whom are the late Kato Takuo and Kato Kenji with Kato Kobei VII, son of Kato Takuo being a strong influence on the style currently. One of the features that keeps me coming back to this style of pottery is that despite still being warm from the kiln, there is something old, even ancient about the surface connecting new pottery works all the way back to its origins several thousand years ago, it is nice to know exactly where something has come from.

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