AUTUMN GRASSES (ORIBE TRIBUTE) ACRYLICS ON CEDAR W/RED OAK FRAME FALL 2017
I have loved stoneware pottery since the 1970’s and even today am especially drawn to those pots created under the influence of Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada. With my interests in the British Arts & Crafts Movement it is only fitting that I’ve gravitated towards these Mingei potters. My recent interests in the creative works of Japanese Momoyama Period Art has only magnified my appreciation of Japanese stoneware and has introduced me to the vibrant, innovative tea master Furuta Oribe. Oribe had a profound influence on tea ceremony ceramics and the pottery produced at that time in the Seto-Mino region were amazing, not only then but now. Yellow Seto, e shino, nezumi shino, and especially oribe dinnerware made for the kaiseki meal which preceded the tea ceremony interest me the most. They inspired me to paint a tribute to the wonderful designs found on oribe ware. Currently the miscanthus grass is at its peak of ripeness and recreates a common theme found on both shino and oribe dishes. The textile pattern in the upper region was inspired by a sometsuke design on a piece of Kutani porcelain. One of the interesting characteristics of the Momoyama Period was the integration of the arts and this blending of ceramics, brush-painting, and textile designs made oribe ware so outstanding. Both the grasses and the textile designs were painted in a monochrome color representative of the iron-oxide underglaze slip used by the potters. I attempted to show how the oribe-trademark copper-oxide green glaze dripped upon firing with my paint, with only limited success. I made the frame out of red oak using pegged, hand-joined, mortise-and-tenon construction methods. I used the Japanese technique (shou-sugi-ban) of charring and oiling the oak to finish the frame.