Ohi Toshio – 大樋年雄 is an 11th generation Tea bowl master. I had the privilege of spending 2 days with him at Piedmont College watching him form Chawan, learning about the importance of tea in the Japanese culture and getting a glimpse into the depth and symbolism that tea ceremony and the tea bowl bring in Asian culture. (Think golden ratio kind of deep. Think Shinto kind of deep. Think about layer upon layer of symbolism.)
Mr. Ohi is a fantastic and widely knowledgeable person and I stopped taking notes exactly 3 minutes into the first workshop so that I could just focus and take in as much as possible. This was, I later found out, a 2 week session put into 2 days. The fact that he came at all speaks of his generosity. In my humble opinion you will learn more about the teabowl and the culture from deciphering the man who makes them than by memorizing any kind of technique.
Here is a man who is, a father, photographer, artist, designer, speaker and tea bowl maker (among other things probably as well). He continues a tradition began in the 1600’s while still being an artist who is true to himself. He blends and balances the new and the old through his ideals. Mr. Ohi unfortunately did not have time for me to create a proper portrait of him as the gallery and Japanese consulate were awaiting his arrival. I wanted it to be a a gift to him for imparting so much knowledge to myself and the other attendees. I am hopeful that we will meet again with more time one day.
If anyone has any questions about the workshop I will try to answer as best I can or try and locate the information requested. Please enjoy some moments from the working sessions. I apologize in advance that I did not get more pictures of the attendees but please share links if you have some. I would love to see the perspective of others.
So excited! So when it rains, it pours. After visiting the Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Art and viewing the Japanese Pottery Exhibit currently on display I made a few connections and found out that Ohi Toshio not only will be giving a lecture at the end of the exhibit on Jan 22nd at 5pm but also teaching a class on the 21st during the day of the 22nd as well. The first day will be working the clay and the second day will be some firings.
Promo Flyer – Toshio Ohi Workshop
Just got into a class with Jay Benzel to help me get my skills up to level! I went in and bought a tumbler (the southern term for yunomi haha) and recognized his Asian influences. I emailed him last night. He gave me a ring this morning and we chatted for a while. He started throwing out the names that have influenced me and sort of feeling me out: Phil Rogers, Shoji Hamada, Bernard Leach and mentioned his preference to local materials. I was just thinking the same things about being true to your local materials and letting the beauty of your direct geographical influences come through.
One of Jay’s works
In researching tea ceremony for a client I came across a ceramics show held at the Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Art at Piedmont College. It is a beautiful museum and the curators are friendly and knowledgeable. I was asked by some friends to make a few pictures so I decided to blog it.
The rising generation from traditional Japanese kilns
Arita and Karatsu Ware – Imaizumi Masato – Porcelain bowl with maple leaf motif in black, blue, and silver
Hagi Ware – Yomato Tsutomu – Bowl with engobe and gold leaf decor
Hagi Ware – Nakazato Taki – Decorated Karatsu fresh-water jar
Hagi Ware – Nakazato Taki – Nanban jar
Hagi Ware – Miwa Kazuhiko – Dreams in White
Hagi Ware – Kaneta Masanao – Pounded, hand-hollowed vase with engobe
Hagi Ware – Kaneta Masanao – Pounded, hand-hollowed vase with white glaze and kiln effects
Hagi Ware – Kaneta Masanao – Pounded, hand-hollowed vase with white glaze and kiln effects – Detail
Kyoto vicinity and Tamba – Okumura Hiromi – White glazed “vessel”
Kyoto vicinity and Tamba – Ichino Genwa – Platter with slip decor
Bizen Ware – Yamamoto Ryuichi – Vase with kiln effects
Kyoto vicinity and Tamba Ware – Ichino Masahiko – Vessel with .inear motif
Kutani and Kanazawa Ware – Ohi Toshio – Ceremonial vessel, Ohi glaze
Kutani and Kanazawa Ware – Ohi Toshio – Fresh-water jar, Ohi white Raku glaze
Kutani and Kanazawa Ware – Miyanishi Atsushi – Blue-glazed vase with wave motif
Kutani and Kanazawa Ware – Yoshida Yukio – Large bowl with overglaze enamel and gold decor
Seto and Mino Ware – Hori Toshiro – Iron-glazed jar
Seto and Mino Ware – Saki Hiroshi – Bluish Shino Jar
Seto and Mino Ware – Suzuki Satoru – Large Oribe Jar – Detail
Seto and Mino Ware – Suzuki Satoru – Large Oribe Jar
Seto and Mino Ware – Hori Toshiro – Iron glazed Jar
Seto and Mino Ware – Hori Toshiro – Iron glazed Jar – Detail
Seto and Mino Ware – Nagae Shigekazu – Glazed vessel built of thin layers
Seto and Mino Ware – Nagae Shigekazu – Glazed vessel built of thin layers – Detail
Seto and Mino Ware – Kurosawa Yuichi – Large Oribe bowl – Detail
Seto and Mino Ware – Ito Hidehito – Oribe bowl
Tokyo vicinity and Mashiko Ware – Hirose Yoshiyuki – “Soaring” large square plate with overglaze and enamel decor – Detail
Tokyo vicinity and Mashiko Ware – Nisaka Mitsukuni – Unglazed bowl with slip decor
Arita and Karatsu Ware – Inoue Yasunori – Bowl in overglaze enamels with carved decor
The installation runs through the end of January. A special reception featuring a gallery talk by Ohi Toshio, one of the artists included in the show, will be held from 5–7 p.m., Jan. 22., 2015. He is an eleventh generation Ohi Master.
Ohi Toshio has even given a Ted Talk
Chronological List of Masters