DEFINITELY NOT SHOJI HAMADA... OR IS IT?

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Post by CharlieC July 21st 2021, 8:14 pm

I think I know it's not, (wishful thinking) not seen any in the flesh. It's only 12 cm tall with a lovely tenmoku glaze and a wax resist brushwork decoration. I know that he didn't sign his work very often, so most pieces are unmarked. Does anyone know? Or is it a generic, in the 'style' of (like so many)? Thanks

DEFINITELY NOT SHOJI HAMADA... OR IS IT? Img_3513
DEFINITELY NOT SHOJI HAMADA... OR IS IT? Img_3514
DEFINITELY NOT SHOJI HAMADA... OR IS IT? Img_3515
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Post by philpot July 22nd 2021, 1:41 pm

Unless you have Cast Iron provenance, then the standard answer is No.It is simply a nice vase in the Bernard Leach Anglo Japanese style of which there were literally many, many thousands made.
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Post by NaomiM July 22nd 2021, 2:47 pm

I'm sure there's a name for the pattern but I cant remember right now. Maybe barley or wheat.
There are some interesting videos on YouTube of Hamada decorating pots and he had quite an angular style when painting the floral decoration.

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Post by CharlieC July 22nd 2021, 2:58 pm

Yes, my feeling (now) is that it's a bit underwhelming in its brushwork. It doesn't have the confidence and vitality of expression. Also, the form doesn't seem to be part of Hamada's repertoire.
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Post by studio-pots July 25th 2021, 12:50 pm

Hamada vases were all made by assistants, who specialised in making specific shapes i.e. one assistant might only make one shape and another shape would be made by a different person. Shoji only decorated the vases. Therefore if a vase isn't a shape that you find online when looking at examples of his work then that's a pretty sure way of deciding that it's not by him.

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Post by abstract*toad July 27th 2021, 2:42 pm

studio-pots wrote:Hamada vases were all made by assistants, who specialised in making specific shapes i.e. one assistant might only make one shape and another shape would be made by a different person. Shoji only decorated the vases. Therefore if a vase isn't a shape that you find online when looking at examples of his work then that's a pretty sure way of deciding that it's not by him.

I'm presuming he threw his own pots in his early years, at what point did he stop and use assistants and any idea why, was it commercial demand for pieces and time management, or other reasons?
With regards to how many he may have thrown himself in his early years, was he prolific or occasional?
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Post by NaomiM July 27th 2021, 3:44 pm

I suspect it's by one of the very good but little known potters like Gordon Whittle, Juliet Beaumont, Harry Barclay, etc, etc.

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Post by studio-pots July 27th 2021, 6:30 pm

abstract*toad wrote:
studio-pots wrote:Hamada vases were all made by assistants, who specialised in making specific shapes i.e. one assistant might only make one shape and another shape would be made by a different person. Shoji only decorated the vases. Therefore if a vase isn't a shape that you find online when looking at examples of his work then that's a pretty sure way of deciding that it's not by him.

I'm presuming he threw his own pots in his early years, at what point did he stop and use assistants and any idea why, was it commercial demand for pieces and time management, or other reasons?
With regards to how many he may have thrown himself in his early years, was he prolific or occasional?

When he worked at the Leach Pottery he threw pieces and when he was on lecture tours to other countries he would as well. However, the Japanese studio pottery system dating back centuries was to have a number of people being responsible for making a pot, as it was here in potteries and then factories. Bernard Leach would have liked to have done the same, and did quietly to a degree, but he wrote "A Potter's Book", which told the romantic story of the artist/potter creating a piece alone. I believe that he regretted that for the rest of his working life.

Therefore when Hamada decided to return to Japan to set up his own pottery in Mashiko he would never have considered the crazy idea of starting small and working alone.

So it threw some but not really worth considering. Hamada never pretended to make them from scratch like Leach and studio potters that came afterwards.


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Post by abstract*toad July 27th 2021, 7:37 pm

Thank you for going into such detail studio, very good of you.
Interesting reading and a little surprising.
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