Monday, February 16, 2015

Kazu Oba "Mizusashi"-Fresh Water Jar

By Kazu Oba

Two water jars have arrived from Kazu Oba, a Faceted MIZUSASHI and a TATAKI MIZUSASHI, each with their own lacquer lid made to perfection by Gen Saratani.

The Faceted MIZUSASHI was first fired in 2012, at the Höhr-Grenzhausen wood-fired kiln in Germany, where black terra sigillata is covered with natural ash glaze. It was then fired again in a salt-firing in Colorado. Just below the rim, a piece about an inch wide is carved out around the entire circumference, creating a slender lip for the lid. The dark brown terra sigillata slip embeds itself in the texture of the beveled surface. The lid fits to the rim so that it sinks perfectly into the curvature. Gen crafted the lid this way at the request of Kazu.
Here, you begin to get a glimpse of the particularities of the ceramicist. The amusement in the piece is expected in the rich color of the clay where the flames didn't reach and the scattered portions where the natural ash glaze looks as if it were sprinkled with sesame seeds. Exploring the surface, embedded in the clay are infinite remnants of small grains of sand resembling rainfall in the middle of the night. From afar, one begins to see a hill or seascape. 

The oblique rim of the TATAKI MIZUSASHI is fitted perfectly with a thicker lacquered lid that appears as if you are looking at the water surface below it. The paddle technique used for this water jar is from the Karatsu tradition. It curves out just below the rim than becomes narrower, only to slightly curve out again at the bottom as if it were a water balloon placed on a flat surface. The piece was dipped in green glaze from rim to mid-body. While natural ash covered the front, the portion over the green glaze became brown to create a landscape. At the bottom, the remaining unglazed portion, the technique using the paddled texture is visible. It is magical that only then does one notice the same paddled texture showing through the glazed portion. One can truly admire all the care and work that goes into making a piece such as this. Intentionally unglazed, at the bottom there are traces that appear as if the firing were done with several abalone shells. If you fill it with water, it is as if one were looking at the ocean floor and discovering some ancient treasure. This is indeed Kazu's style of playfulness.
From a firing in Aztec, New Mexico at the Casa Verde Studio, with a special ordered lid from Gen Saratani, we now have this rare item of beauty.

大庭一仁  緑釉叩き水指・面取テラシッジ水指



2012年、ニューメキシコのAztecにあるCasa Verde Studioで焼成されたものに、更谷源とのコラボレーションで塗り蓋を誂えて、遂にこの逸品となった。

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