A Domed Vase by American Potter, Malcolm Wright
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Directory: Artists: Ceramics: Pottery: Pre 1990: item # 1099179
Please refer to our stock # ICHI 411 when inquiring.
Ichiban Japanese & Oriental Antiques
Post Office Box 395
Marion, CT 06444-0395
This beautiful dome shaped vase is by an important contemporary American potter whose work is in the tradition of Japanese stoneware. The piece measures 8 ½ diameter at the waist is 3 ½ diameter at the top opening the base is 6 Ύ diameter and it is 4 ½ high. It is glazed in a dramatic glossy black glaze that has hundreds of tiny light tan specks you have to hold it close to see these very small spots. The top rim has a light tan glaze in the Tenmoku style of Japanese stoneware. The vase is in excellent condition with no chips or restorations. It is signed with the large "W" used by Wright on all his works. We date it to the late 20th century we purchased it in 1985.
Tenmoku (also spelled "temmoku" and "temoku") is a dark glaze with a surface that resembles oilspotting. It is made of feldspar, limestone, and iron oxide. The more quickly a piece is cooled, the blacker the glaze will be. Tenmoku takes its name from the (Mandarin: tiān mω; Japanese: ten moku; English: Heaven's Eye) mountain temple in China where iron-glazed bowls were used for tea.
Tenmoku's are known for their variability. During their heating and cooling, several factors influence the formation of iron crystals within the glaze. A long firing process and a clay body which is also heavily colored with iron increase the opportunity for iron from the clay to be drawn into the glaze. While the glaze is molten, iron can migrate within the glaze to form surface crystals, as in the "oil spot" glaze, or remain in solution deeper within the glaze for a rich glossy color.
Malcolm Wright was born in the Midwest and received his formal education in Vermont, where he has lived and worked for nearly 30 years. When he was introduced to Japanese pottery making, while teaching at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C., his lifelong vocation as a potter began. Wright apprenticed with the family of Tarouemon Nakazato, a 12th generation potter who was named a Living National Treasure in Japan, where a keen awareness of focus and technique, combined with his own experimental curiosity and various artistic influences led Wright to develop a unique style.
This is a quote from an article by Mr. Wright that gives a lot of information about him and his work:
The majority of my work is glazed, functional stoneware. It is inspired by eight years of study under Japanese teachers from 1963 to 1970, including two years in Karatsu, Japan. My work is also informed by Korean and Chinese ceramics. Although born in Minnesota, somewhere west of Lake Woebegone, I am of English and Scottish descent, so these cultures also have a strong influence. The forms are accessible, the glazes are mostly ash based and glossy, the wood fire leaves only modest marks on the pot, except for those pieces positioned at the front of the kiln chamber. This work is fired at 2300 to 2500°F.