IKKO - Ikko Watanabe
Ikko belongs to one of the Tokoname potters who have decided to remove his range from the Tokoname catalog. He has cut himself free and found his own market, which he supplies with primarily unglazed, polished shohin pots. His name is well regarded in Japan and his family has been working with ceramics for almost three hundred years. They started to manufacture large ceramic
vessels, and later on ceramic pipes, that once was common to use all throughout Japan. When this market disappeared, due to the introduction of metal and plastic, his father had to make the choice to focus on either the production of the popular red tea pots, or bonsai pottery. Since they had great skills in coil technique, and slab building, they choose to start to create large bonsai pots. Ikko's father was mainly working with unglazed pots, but when Ikko took over, he choosed to put focus on the smaller glazed pots. Later, on request from the tree masters, he took on the challenge to try to replicate unglazed chinese pots. So he started to import clay from China. But he was not satisfied until he had found his own mix and blend. Today, he has perfected the difficult technique and found his own style and has managed to please the demanding customers of his highly targeted market by manufacturing pots that crowns shohin compositions all over the world. Ikko is one of a few of Tokoname bonsai pot makers who practice bonsai and he puts a lot of emphasizes on how important it is that pots age beautifully. He is always experimenting with glaze trials that he water daily to find the ultimate recipes for making them age with beauty.
In his newly built gallery he welcomes customers, often tree masters who come to find an exclusive shohin for an exhibition, but also customers that has found him through the grapewine or internet. There is no question that Ikko has dared to break away from old structures and chose to go alone on his path.
Ikko crowning a shohin composition in a fresh print.
Ikko takes China into Japan both in body and spirit.
Ikko is straight thin feets. No support coils, sharp as a razor.
More pots by Ikko san at: https://yukimono.com/collections/ikko