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White Shino glaze clings like ice and thick snow to the crenellated precipices of this sculptural vase by Hayashi Shotaro (b. 1947) enclosed in the original signed wooden box. Huge swaths of clay have been violently torn away, the raw clay charred red where it is not covered by the crawling white glaze, as if the glaze were not applied with heat, but had settled there after a violent mountain storm. This is a monster; the vase is 15 inches (36 cm) tall, and weighs roughly 25 pounds (11 kg) in perfect condition.
Shotaro is one of Japans true genius potters, moving far beyond tradition, glaze research and firing technique, to a place of inception. He first began with a 7 year apprenticeship under his older brother Kotaro, ending when he established his own kiln in 1974. Since then his list of exhibitions and awards has been amazing, including the Nihon Dento Kogei Ten (National Traditional Arts and Crafts Exhibition), Governors Prize and five times winner of Best of Show at the Asahi Togei Ten (Asahi Ceramics Exhibition), and Best of Show at Gifu Prefectural Exhibition among many others.