Koyo - Kouichirou Aiba
An old man is standing smiling in the door and greets me when I arrive. He gently guides me through the gallery and shows me in to the office. He immediately start to ask me out. What kind of pots do the customers in Europe like? Why do they want to buy Japanese? He says he never got the chance to meet a potter from the West so he is curious to hear about our situation. I soon realize that Koyo havent stopped working, as rumours said, or even slowed down. Despite his high age it is clear to me that he stands behind the son Juko and the Koyo brand. He may not make so many pots anymore, but the company is clearly in his hands. Koyo's family, like many other successful bonsai potters, has been working with ceramics for many generations. Before he started with bonsai pottery, he made glazed bathroom tiles. This means that Koyo, unlike many others, brought along the knowledge of glazes when he made the decision to start making pots. It all began with a request from a customer that came to visit him, and asked him to make an attempt to recreate Tofukoji pots. He accepted and it became the start of a lifelong career. Today, it is Koyo’s glazes that many potters tries to recreate. Koyo unloads more questions. How is the clay in Sweden? Do you blend it yourself? When I ask if he has something he wants to say to the people reading, maybe who has just starting with pottery and is in the beginning of the career, he answers with a smile. "I wish I could come over to meet you."
Koyo shows a newspaper clip from when he and 5 other potters managed to sell their pots to a department store in Tokyo. A bold move that went against the traditional channels and made the news 1976. Probably would today as well since not much has changed.
Koyo family greets us with green tea. Juko, to the left, is today a well regarded potter that continues his fathers line, and produces his own brand. (More about Juko in a coming post)
The pot I am holding in my hand is the same glaze Koyo used for his first bonsai pot in an attempt to mimic the great Tofukuji.
Died and went to pot heaven.
Koyo’s legendary oribe with silver pools on the left.
More Koyo. Photo cant do the middle pot justice.
Thats all. Thank you for your attention. Feel free to share.
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