Handmade pots for bonsai trees

December edition 2017 ”Tokoname”

January 19, 2018

 

About the Tokoname edition

During November 2017 I was working in Tokoname side by side with japanese potter Hidemi Kataoka. Hidemi San showed me various techniques and tools, some of them familiar, some of them totally new. I realized that some things you cant learn by trial and error during a lifetime. It takes 5 generations to find out.
I was in japan to learn and the pots I made was my personal trials and student work, not meant for selling. But I have now decided to let let go of 13 out of 19 pots. I hope you find them interresting.

 

No. 13

" I put a lot of effort to carve nordic landscapes in the four frames of this little robust pot. Unfortunatly the glaze covered most of it. But with some looking into details and imagination you can visualize a snowy day in Dalarna, traveling on skies over the mountains.”


Design: Rectangle with frames
Clay: Tokoname clay
Glaze: Shiro / Creamy white glaze
Fired: Fully vitrified frost resistant stoneware
Outside measurements
width: 110 mm / 4.4"
depth: 75 mm / 3.0"
height: 43 mm / 1.7”
deep inside: 27 mm / 1.1”

 

No.12

" A rough Thor style rectangle with cut corners dressed in a creamy "Shuuhou" oribe. Maybe one of the most harmonious results of Thor goes Tokoname?”


Design:Rectangle with cut corners
Clay: Tokoname clay
Glaze: Oribe / Green
Fired: Fully vitrified frost resistant stoneware

 

Outside measurements
width: 170 mm / 6.7"
depth: 97 mm / 3.8"
height: 55 mm / 2.2”
deep inside: 32 mm / 1.3”

 

No.11

" Realizing that the rectangular shape with cloud feets derives from buddhist and chinese culture I started to strongly question our constant repeating of this style and searching for my own cultural influences. The rustic nordic style is not the most gracious, so i started to think about the empirical design we find in the classical furniture (that derives from ancientn Egyptian interiors), and this is the first design I make with "lion paws as feets", just as you find on old chairs. First of its kind, probably not the last.”

 

Design: Rectangle with Lion paw feets
Clay: Tokoname clay
Glaze: Ruri / Blue
Fired: Fully vitrified frost resistant stoneware

Outside measurements
width: 118 mm / 4.7"
depth: 97 mm / 3.8"
height: 43 mm / 1.7”
deep inside: 27 mm / 1.0”

 

No.10

" I couldnt have a japanese edition without crowning it with a classical mokko. A small piece standing on "Shuuhou" feets and dressed in an oribe glaze. I bulked the sides a bit and sculptured some details to get more of a plant theme. Very unique and maybe the most un-Thor pot in this edition.”

 

Design: Mokko-Sotoen
Clay: Tokoname clay
Glaze: Oribe / Green
Fired: Fully vitrified frost resistant stoneware

Outside measurements
width: 99 mm / 3.9"
depth: 86 mm / 3.4"
height: 36 mm / 1.4”
deep inside: 28 mm / 1.1”

 

No.9

front 1

" Thor goes Japan. The ultimate mix of north and east. A nordic Nidhögg dragon on a japanese fukuro shiki / bag shaped body with cloud feets. Freshly unglazed and ready to start collecting patina. ”


Design: Fukuro shiri-kumoashi / Oval with cloud feets and Nidhögg design
Clay: Tokoname clay
Glaze: Unglazed
Fired: Fully vitrified frost resistant stoneware

 

Outside measurements
width: 147 mm / 5.8"
depth: 117 mm / 4.6"
height: 38 mm / 1.5”
deep inside: 26 mm / 1.0”

 

No.8

 

" This is a pot with a story. I will tell it from the start so bare with me. Hidemis grandfather Yoshimura Katoaka ordered a large plaster mold for making ceramic plates that depicted a magician riding a dragon through the clouds. These where made for hanging ouside the temples, by the gate. At some stage it broke into pieces and was put in a box up on the attic of the Yoshimura kiln. There I found it on one of my excursions through the three stored buildnings and when i asked Kataoka san about it he said that it was broken beyond saving. This triggered my mission to "Save the dragon" (Click to read more about it in my blogpost). But before we started to re cast it, I made a small oval and "rolled" it in the old mold. So this is the first "print" made from that old mold for over a long time. Its a bit diffuse, but if you look really close you can make out the face of the magician on one side, and the clouds on the other. Then when we fired it, we used a very unusual method that involves coal to give it an antique and rusty feeling. I am very happy with the result and already regret for letting it go.”

 

* note that the pot became slightly warped during firing.
* This is the pot I am working on in the "Edition photo" under Hidemis supervision.


Design: Oval - magician
Clay: Tokoname clay
Glaze: Unglazed
Fired: Fully vitrified frost resistant stoneware

Outside measurements
width: 185 mm / 7.3"
depth: 115 mm / 4.5"
height: 29 mm / 1.1”
deep inside: 18 mm / 0.7”

 

No.7

front 1

front 2

 

skull carvings at the feets

" It started as a classical oval - sotoen with sturdy feets, but then I started to carve a theme of a dying branch where a flower symbolizes the "now", and a leaf that blows away in the wind the "last moment". That is also why I carved skulls around the feets. I have since I came back repeated this design and I think it will be a signature theme for me in the future. So this pot is not just a very unique piece from my Tokoname stay, it is also a "first design".”
*note that the pot became slightly wobbly during firing

 

Design: Oval with death theme
Clay: Tokoname clay
Glaze: partially Oribe / Green
Fired: Fully vitrified frost resistant stoneware

 

Outside measurements
width: 130 mm / 5.1"
depth: 108 mm / 4.2"
height: 44 mm / 1.7”
deep inside: 28 mm / 1.1”

 

 

No.6

 

 

" A round pot in my trademark "Gotham" design, but this time with gakuiri / frames on the three sides. Glazed in a thick ruri / blue glaze applied with an airbrush. A difficult technique I learned to handle during my stay in Tokoname under the guidance of Kataoka sensei. I am really found of this pot and I love how it sits so nicely on its gracious feets."


Design: Round - Gotham
Clay: Tokoname clay
Glaze: Ruri / Blue
Fired: Fully vitrified frost resistant stoneware

 

Outside measurements
width: 133 mm / 5.2"
depth: 133 mm / 4.2"
height: 43 mm / 1,7”
deep inside: 27 mm / 1.1”

 

No.5

"  Inward leaning sides, like i did on this rectangle, is a very unusual feature on japanese pots and raised some talk among what to plant in it. The "grasping" of the sides are a feminine feature, and yet the straightness are masculine. We agreed that a tree with a masculine fat trunk, but with feminine movement would be appropriate. What do you think? ”

Design: Rectangle
Clay: Tokoname clay
Glaze: Oribe / green
Fired: Fully vitrified frost resistant stoneware

Outside measurements
width: 150 mm / 5.9"
depth: 84 mm / 3.3"
height: 52 mm / 2.0”
deep inside: 38 mm / 1.5”

 

No.4

"  This gracious oval is a version of the classical fukuro shiki / sack shape that I have put on "Shuuhou" style feets wich are placed with one facing front, chinese style..The feets are a bit over dimensioned, the way I like it. One of my favourites from this edition. Maybe because its a pot that manages to capture all influences and history. And because its a beauty dressed in azur blue.”

Design: Fukuro shiki-Kumoashi / Oval sack shape
Clay: Tokoname clay
Glaze: Ruri / azur - cobalt blue
Fired: Fully vitrified frost resistant stoneware

Outside measurements
width: 141 mm / 5.5"
depth: 116 mm / 4.5"
height: 45 mm / 1.8”
deep inside: 28 mm / 1.1”

 

No.3

 

Spray glazing no.3 with a creamy white at Yoshuimura kiln.

"  This rough square styled pot is standing on small  "Shuuhou" style feets - that show up on several of my pots in this edition. ”


Design: Square / Uchien-Kumoashi
Clay: Tokoname clay
Glaze: Shiro / white cream glaze
Fired: Fully vitrified frost resistant stoneware

Outside measurements
width: 170 mm / 6.9"
depth: 170 mm / 6.9"
height: 49 mm / 1.9”
deep inside: 30 mm / 1.2”

 

No.12

 

 

 

" Hidemi followed the development of this large pot with great interrest - slab by slab. Once it came out from the kiln, coated in a deep moss green oribe he stated that this was his favourite all categories from all the pots I made in his studio. Its a development from the "Gotham" design and is a theme I will keep on developing.”
* this is the pot I am working on in the ”Tokoname edition” photo.

Design: Rectangle / Gotham
Clay: Tokoname clay
Glaze: Oribe / Green
Fired: Fully vitrified frost resistant stoneware

Outside measurements
width: 270 mm / 11"
depth: 180 mm / 7.2"
height: 70 mm / 2.7”
deep inside: 43 mm / 1.7”

 

No.13

 

 

Glazing pot no.13

"  To this classical rectangle with sumi kiri / cut corners and smooth bottom I created a new design of black elf feets. The largest pot from this edition that went in my hand luggage from Tokoname to Taipei to Hong Kong to London to Gothenburg. I wish I could have kept this large piece in a creamy shiro glaze."

Design: Sotoen-Kumoashi / Rectangle with Sumi kiri / Cut corners
Clay: Tokoname clay
Glaze: Shiro / white cream glaze
Fired: Fully vitrified frost resistant stoneware

Outside measurements
width: 295 mm / 12"
depth: 240 mm / 9.8"
height: 106 mm / 4.2”
deep inside: 72 mm / 2.8”

 

Loading the gas kiln at Yoshimura.

Thank you!

 

Thor

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