New Kodai

A new porcelain bowl. I’m experimenting with a new kodai (foot ring) form, that gently dips downward towards the bottom creating a concave section and a foot that tapers to a softened point. It has taken longer and presented new challenges with this bowl because I shaped the form to completion outwardly. I cannot carve the outside further. I think the end result is worth the technical “challenge” (if you can call it that). I guess it’s less a challenge than just an order of operations thing. You just complete the outside first and I’m used to leaving the outside mostly unfinished and forming for the interior. 

   
 

30 Years Ago

I remember a ceramics class, back when schools had funding and felt an importance to preserve the arts rather than focus on standardized testing. I didn’t get bitten by the pottery bug back then but it sure must have planted a seed, that lay dormant for around 30 years. This pot has laid dormant as well, in the back of a cupboard, until it was recently found by my mother. I don’t think I actually remember making this one although I can drum up some memories from the class. It’s funny though, I was making kodai (foot) on my bowls since the very beginning. I found the same in photography. Looking back through my oldest images. The style was already there, small, simple and unadorned.

I think we all enjoy reminiscing and having a wash of nostalgia every now and again. The thing that I like about this pot is that I didn’t “care” too much, I just made it. You can clearly see my fingerprints. A pinched pot with a foot that I was able to see again after so long.

Third Iteration

So I’m in the middle of doing the third iteration of my Kusamono / Shitakusa vessels and they are coming along nicely. I love love love this clay. Its very porous and I think that it would be good for the plantings in such a small place to be able to get enough oxygen to the roots. This is the advantage of terracotta, not only is it cheaply produced and low fired but it is porous as well. We’ll have to keep in mind that the plants that are paired with these pots may need to be watered more than something that is in a plastic or fully vitrified pot. I’ll have to prove this out but it seems that if the roots can get more oxygen then they will flourish for longer.

Keeping the pots from cracking by wrapping them to carve the hard clay.
First two done!
All 8 carved. Got a bit fancy with some texturing on a few.

I have been getting heavily into Kusamono since I learned the term from my friend Chuck. This is something that I’ve never seen before. Mushroom cultivation for Kusamono! It seems to be a high investment in effort and time for a small payoff but for originality I give it two thumbs up. If you care to dive into the way other mushrooms are grown the success rate is a bit higher and the technique should translate very well to the more decorative mushrooms such as the beautiful Amanita Muscaria which reminds me of Christmas.

There is an excellent article dealing with creating Mushroom Kusamono that I found – http://ofbonsai.org/species-specific/accent-plantings/simplified-cultivation-of-mushrooms-for-accents-and-kusamono – Just beautiful!