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Though this piece appears quite old and nicely worn by time, it is in fact a very recent work from Sekizanjin kiln. Using a special organic process to “ferment” powdered ore used in the clay, they then fire the hand molded pieces under extreme heat to produce bowls they call “Chibori.” The Chibori bowl featured here is inspired by works of Chojiro—forbearer of the Raku line of potters and collaborator with legendary tea master Sen no Rikyu.
The master potter of Sekizanjin kiln, Tokoro Ichiro (b.1938) started his career not as a potter but as a building materials specialist. Through the course of his career, he learned much about different types of rocks and ores; and, unexpectedly, how these can be used in the production of fine art pieces. Later, at the age of 56 he suddenly fell gravely ill and due to financial difficulties incurred through the course of treatment, was forced to sell his family business. After a miraculous recovery, Tokoro made the bold decision to devote the remainder of his life to art and to the production of fine pottery. Using the knowledge he gained from his previous profession, he set about creating unique and attractive ceramic works. Finally, in a grand gesture directed towards peace and mutual understanding, Tokoro produced a group of 80 fine works which he gifted to shrines and temples across Japan. He later went on to do the same abroad, gifting his fine chawan to religious centers around the world such as the Vatican, Canterbury, and Bohd Gaya in India to name a few.
In perfect condition, this piece is 4.6 inches in diameter (11.8 cm) and stands just over 3 inches tall (7.7 cm). It bears the artist’s signature on the base of the kodai and comes with its original signed and stamped certification box. In addition the piece comes with its own protective cloth which also bears the artist’s seal and an insert in Japanese detailing the kiln and its history.