January 9th 2017 saw my first talk on bonsai pots at Maidstone Bonsai Club; 'Bonsai Pots - Framing your Artwork.' Thankfully, and down to a lot of work and a forgiving & interested audience; the evening was a great success and was very well received! I would like to thank all those that have given me so much help and encouragement.
The main focus of the evening concentrated on 'choosing the right pot for your tree'.
To the novice, the variety of shapes, sizes and finishes can seem somewhat daunting, but once some general 'guidelines' are understood, the capable artist can 'break the rules' when the occasion demands.
The talk was an interactive one, with; projector, photos, discussion, and a great selection of real examples.
An introduction into European, and then Japanese pots followed, including a brief history, and some well known artists and styles.
The well known Chinese & Japanese clays and glazes were then examined and discussed, such as; the 1000 year old Namako (sea cucumber) glaze of Ancient China, and the Oribe glaze from C17th Japan.
The sea-cucumber, or 'namako' glaze - examples by Koyo.
The 'oribe' glaze - examples by Koyo.
The well known Japanese potters and potter families were then discussed in more detail, with examples of pots both affordable and more expensive. Some of the history is fascinating.
Once such family, the Kataokas' (not to be confused with other Kataoka families such as Shuhu) ran the Yamaaki kiln for three generations, until its recent closure in 2011. The founder, Akitsuga Kataoka (potter name; Shousen) opened a kiln in 1920, called 'Kataoka'. After then opening a noborigama in 1927 (climbing chambers, wood-fired kiln) he worked under the potter name Jyuudo, and his works were known as 'kinka' - pre-Yamaaki. He continued working until aged 89, when he passed away in 1990. These pieces are now highly sought after, and can be almost 100 years old!
We then discussed a little on pot quality and appreciation. A couple of members brought in pots to be identified as requested, and many others wish they did! This was a thoroughly enjoyable evening for myself, and judging by the thanks I have had after, an enjoyable and educational night for all that attended.
To catch one of my talks, or request one for your club or society, please contact me on:
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