Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Keshiki - The Landscape of a Pot

In order to talk about pottery, the Japanese found it useful to go so far as to create names for various attributes of a pot. According to e-yakimono.net, the vocabulary that deals with the surface of a pot is known as keshiki. 

To some people, certain keshiki may look like mistakes, but to connoisseurs of Japanese ceramics, such imperfections are actually treasured because they make a pot unique, interesting and even beautiful.

Two of the most common keshiki (ones you may see on works created in the MCG studio) are: yubi atofinger marks that show where the potter held the pot during glazing, and himaan accidentally unglazed part of the pot where the clay body shows. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ogata Kenzan

Ogata Kenzan (1663-1743) was perhaps the most celebrated Japanese potter of all time. He was highly influenced by his older brother, the respected painter Ogata Korin.

According to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, "He created a new style of painterly ceramics that replaced in popularity the heavily textured decorative overglaze enamels of the Kyoto pottery master Nonomura Ninsei (c.1574-1660/66). Kenzan was the first highly educated and cultivated merchant-artisan to operate a ceramics workshop and the first to use pottery as a medium for painting."