The second post will feature the cups, and the third post will feature the Chawan/teabowls. The fourth post will include ordering info for this SO, etc.
Feel free to post in this topic and ask questions.
Michael has titled this SO, “In Praise of Shadows” and offers this explanation …
A few thoughts about the process of creating the works for my Special Offering to the TeaChat Community.
The pieces were Created, Bisqued Fired, Glazed and finally given over to the potential calamity of the violent inferno of the Kiln. All these steps come with a certain level of anticipation and forward visioning, even though I’ve spent decades practicing the discipline to not envision a specific result, it’s hard not too.
The Glaze Firing went well, and despite my attempts to suspend a vision of the work inside the kiln, I was viewing finished works in my head. Upon opening the long cooling kiln I was again, as always surprised. I had visions of pieces with a more “graphic” visual and tactile presence. The kiln had other “visions.”
The kiln’s “vision” was to cause a kind of “forced restraint” upon the work in this firing. I liked the works before me, still too hot to touch, I had time to think. I was being reminded of a valuable lesson as well as being reminded of a short book I read over 30 years ago on Aesthetics, “In Praise of Shadows.”
“In Praise of Shadows”, was written by Jun’ichiro Tanizaki and was originally published in 1933 in Japanese and later translated to English in 1977. The essay consists of 16 sections that discuss traditional Japanese aesthetics in contrast with change. Comparisons of light with darkness are used to contrast Western and Asian cultures.
The West, in its striving for progress, is presented as continuously searching for light and clarity, while the subtle and subdued forms of oriental art and literature are seen by Tanizaki to represent an appreciation of shadow and subtlety. In addition to contrasting light and dark, Tanizaki further considers the layered tones of various kinds of shadows and their power to reflect low sheen materials like gold embroidery, patina and cloudy crystals.
The works being offered here require close study to fully appreciate the depth of nuance in the glaze finish. They don’t shout their presence, they are comfortable in the realm of the intimate object.
A brief statement about our featured artisan in his own words …
I am an Architect, Ceramist, Printmaker and Art Educator, living and working in the beautiful San Juan Mountains of Southwest Colorado.
Art is my passion and the true backbone of my existence. I have worked extensively in all types of media, including painting, wood, metal, glass, architecture, ceramics and printmaking. I cannot lay claim to any particular style or genre, as I am primarily interested in nonlinear paths of development in the objects I make. Each step of the art making process is part of a personal inner journey. The common thread that stitches my work together is an overriding desire to be surprised by the outcome, as though I wasn’t present during the process.
For my ceramics I work with various high fire stoneware and porcelain clay bodies that I fire in my custom built gas reduction kilns. My glaze palette consists of various Shinos, Tenmokus, Celadons, Nukas, Chuns and Ash reduction fired glazes.