Potter: Rokuro Watanabe
Approximate size: W3.5″ by H7.2″ or 8.9 by 18.3 cm
This hanaire or flower vase was made by Rokuro Watanabe. This potter was born in Kitahama, Osaka. He studied at the Tokyo Fine Arts University (currently called Tokyo University of the Arts), department of crafts, lacquer Engineering in 1949 and started teaching. At the same time he apprenticed himself to Inoue Yoshinori and learned from his master. With the knowledge gained he build his own kiln in Ibaraki prefecture during 1965.
After working as a member of the Japan Ceramics Society and Shinso Crafts he was selected at the great Nitten exhibition, the Contemporary Crafts Exhibition, the New Traditional Crafts and the Japan Ceramics Exhibition! Currently he serves as the Vice President of Nifu Exhibition and as the Director of Crafts Department. A member of the Takumikai and Ibaraki Crafts Association and a serving as a judge at the Ibaraki Arts Festival.
This master has seen is all, well almost! Mainly worked with ash glaze as shown here, tenmoku, celadon, kohiki powder glazes and created works in the Oribe style,
Vases like this are used primarily for the art of Ikebana (生け花, 活け花, “arranging flowers” or “making flowers alive”). It is also known as Kadō (華道, “way of flowers”), or flower arrangement. Appearing sober, its ash glaze with iron glaze brush decoration of flowers are not meant to take the spotlight but rather redirect the viewers attention to what is displayed. Clearly alluding to its purpose as a vessel to show the beauty of flowers.
Ikebana is counted as one of the three classical Japanese arts of refinement, along with kōdō for incense appreciation and chadō for tea and the tea ceremony.
Consideration of the vase as being something more than a mere holder of the flowers is purely Japanese. They think of the surface of the water, which they always expose, as the surface of earth from which the group springs. This aids in creating the effect of representing a complete plant growing as nearly as possible in its natural conditions.Japanese flower arrangement by Mary Averill
Kyo yaki or Kyo ware refers to a style of ceramics that spread from the Higashiyama area in Kyoto during the early Edo period of the Tokugawa rule (henceforth this family line continually ruled for more than 250 years). It was around this time that the art of Chanoyu or the Tea ceremony became popular and widespread in Japan. By contrast, the pottery produced along Gojo-zaka, a street leading to Kiyomizu Temple, was called, Kiyomizu yaki or ware. Nowadays all pottery produced in Kyoto is referred to as Kyo or Kiyomizu ware.
Additionally, 2 names dominated the influence and development of pottery production in Kyoto. Ninsei Nonomura and his student Kenzan Ogata. Both potters have styles of pottery named after them.
Ninsei Nonomura wasn’t originally from Kyoto but moved there around 1647 after having studied ceramics and glazing techniques in Seto province. Having connections to the great Tea master Kawamori Sowa (1585-1656), he had ample means to develop and market his works once settled in Kyoto. It is said he was the first potter to sign his works regarding them as art, more so than simple disposable vessels.
Kenzan Ogata was a student of Ninsei Nonomura but developed to become a master potter and defined his own style and was regarded a master in his own right. His main identifiers are brushwork decorations that have ties to literature, painting and various other fields. Kenzan like his teacher also signed his works. And many are in museums around the world.
The vase bears the stamp of the potter near the foot as shown below. There are no chips or cracks and condition is excellent. Comes with the original paulownia tomobako with kiln stamp and calligraphy on the lid and a pamphlet with the potter’s history.
€175 + shipping cost