This beautiful Shino glazed flower vase demonstrates the great talent of ceramicist Kato Yasukage (1964-2012). Kato was born in Aichi to two professional potters. As a young man, Kato studied ceramics in the 1980s with Bizen Living National Treasure Yamamoto Toshu, with whom he developed his own mentori (facet) style.
Both his family's lineage and his apprenticeship provided a solid foundation on which he built his artistic practice, in one sense quite literally: Kato often used clay that had been prepared by his ancestors. This was a special clay kept for generations in his family, a tradition that Kato embraced by preparing clay for his own descendants. He works in an iron-rich mountain clay, which reacts to the heat of the kiln and produces this rich red color in the glaze. This vase contains at least seven different kinds of Shino feldspar glaze, a combination that necessitates a very careful firing. Kato prefers a wood kiln, which is very difficult to control but produces beautiful results as shown.
This flower vase has the red tinge of the mountain clay, and indeed looks as if it was hewn from the earth. The heavy, sturdy feel of the vessel is counteracted by the ridges that sweep up the sides, creating movement and levity. The piece feels geological in nature, so that flowers placed in the side opening would appear to be growing out of the edge of a cliff. The addition of delicate flowers to this solid vase is a lovely juxtaposition. Although Kato's life was tragically cut short by a car accident in 2012, his work continues to please and inspire us.
Public Collections :
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Museum of Arts and Design, NY
KATO Yasukage the 14th 十四代加藤康影(1964-2012)
H10.1" x D5.5" x W9.3"