Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

A place to talk about Australian bonsai potters and pottery.
Post Reply
User avatar
Rory
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 2207
Joined: January 23rd, 2013, 11:19 pm
Favorite Species: Casuarina & Banksia
Bonsai Age: 16
Bonsai Club: Central Coast Bonsai Society
Location: Central Coast, NSW
Has thanked: 6 times
Been thanked: 80 times
Contact:

Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

Post by Rory » June 12th, 2015, 4:44 pm

Okay. I just don't get it. Call me uneducated, but...

What makes a Japanese pot or one with the word Tokoname so special? Is that what people are loving, that fact that it is one? If these were made by an Australian potter, I really wouldn't look twice at them. Thus, :imo: I ... just ... don't ... get it.

I am not saying I don't have a liking towards foreign pots, but .... seriously, just because it has a Japanese / Chinese stamp on it, how or why does that make it any better??? So often I see posts where the user has made a purchase of the faint whispering word 'tokoname' or 'japanese', and the site goes into love town. But to me the pots are nothing special, appearing sometimes poorly made and often seem drab or uninteresting.

I find that Australian potters and quite a few American potters are producing such outstanding work that it defies the logic in my brain why anyone would continue their search for these elusive Japanese / toko pots.

I'm legitimately sorry if I offend any heritage here, but it reminds me of my son pointing out why a pokemon card is more valuable than another. He explains that because it has a higher number rating on it or something to that effect it is worth more than another. Whereas my younger child - unblemished by this philosophy - sees the actual picture on the card and chooses the one she likes because of the picture and not the 'intrinsic' value of the item.
Rory
Central Coast, NSW
Bonsai: Casuarina Leptospermum Banksia Phebalium Melalueca
Thread on growing Australian natives as Bonsai:
https://www.ausbonsai.com.au/forum/view ... =6&t=28171

User avatar
Jarad
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 1219
Joined: November 27th, 2014, 1:04 pm
Favorite Species: Juniperus, Melaleuca, Taxodium
Bonsai Age: 5
Location: Central Coast, NSW
Has thanked: 21 times
Been thanked: 10 times

Re: Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

Post by Jarad » June 12th, 2015, 4:53 pm

:o :shake:

And here I was thinking you knew something about Bonsai... :lol:

I too would appreciate the background story apart from "They make good pots and have been doing it for a while."
-Jarad

I don't trust Bonsai, they are a little shady.

User avatar
Elmar
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 1205
Joined: October 12th, 2013, 10:33 pm
Favorite Species: living trees!
Bonsai Age: 2
Location: Port Hedland
Contact:

Re: Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

Post by Elmar » June 12th, 2015, 5:09 pm

I must admit I am in the same boat; especially when, most of what I've seen is very plain and I have found (and bought) what I consider to be far more
Attractive pots within Australia from potters that contribute to this and other oozy forums.

I also ask for forgiveness for my transgression and am happy to receive instruction as to the "Why"...


Cheers
EZ
Via Tapatalk
Cheers
Elmar

User avatar
kcpoole
Perpetual Learner
Perpetual Learner
Posts: 12129
Joined: November 12th, 2008, 4:02 pm
Favorite Species: Maple
Bonsai Age: 15
Bonsai Club: the School Of Bonsai
Location: Western Sydney, NSW, Australia
Has thanked: 8 times
Been thanked: 43 times
Contact:

Re: Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

Post by kcpoole » June 12th, 2015, 5:26 pm

Hmmm Bougy and I better be on our toes, as this one might go down hill real fast ! :palm:
Interesting question really and I am looking forward to the discussion that will ensue.

From a person that does not own any Japanese pots, for me it will probably the high degree of skill and obvious quality of the item. Unblemished or with that patina that quality will give off. I would think that in photos, there will be little of that obvious, tho.

Ken
Check out our Wiki for awesome bonsai information www.ausbonsai.com.au/wiki
What is Bonsai? http://www.ausbonsai.com.au/wiki/index.php?title=Bonsai
What should I do now? http://www.ausbonsai.com.au/wiki/index.php?title=Newbie
How do I grow a Bonsai? http://www.ausbonsai.com.au/wiki/index. ... _a_Bonsai?
Visit a Bonsai nursery to see some real nice trees http://www.ausbonsai.com.au/wiki/index. ... _Nurseries

User avatar
MoGanic
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 1250
Joined: May 3rd, 2012, 7:15 pm
Favorite Species: Shimpaku
Bonsai Age: 0
Location: Victoria

Re: Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

Post by MoGanic » June 12th, 2015, 5:39 pm

Haha, you guys are a crack up.

Truth is, the high price is for high quality as far as Chinese and Japanese pots go. The really high price is for high quality and old age. Also, one thing you cannot yet purchase from an Australian potter is antiquity. To have age and patina to a pot is a very desired characteristic, but one must have a tree showing equal age to match the pot.

The problem is, some people don't understand the difference between Japanese and QUALITY. Not every Japanese pot is good quality but you'll find there are people who will still try to sell the pots at top dollar.

Tokoname is known for producing great quality clays and pots, hence why the name is synonymous with good quality pots. However, as with terming a pot "Japanese", just because it came out of Tokoname doesn't make it a great quality pot. One should still inspect the pot itself "just incase". I've seen pots selling with the word Tokoname slipped in somewhere, but what the seller meant was "similar to Tokoname" not "'made in a Tokoname Kiln".

Also, as far as plainness goes, this style of unglazed pot is highly suited to conifers. All the crazy glazes and oxides that can be added generally don't match most conifers in my opinion, and most artists I think would agree. I haven't seen many pots from American or Australian potters in this style, but I'd definitely purchase them from an Australian potter before anyone if I could. Again though, as my trees age, id prefer to see them in pots that also show age rather than ones that look brand new. Patina isn't something that can be faked.

It, as usual, comes down to preference. You haven't offended me and I hope no one else is offended by this post. If you prefer aussie pots for your trees go for it ;). I for one, will always prefer the Japanese style because I love Japan and the Japanese and their culture :). DAISO FOR LIFE!

Cheers,
Mo







Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
There are many ways to do things, but only one "best" way.

User avatar
MoGanic
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 1250
Joined: May 3rd, 2012, 7:15 pm
Favorite Species: Shimpaku
Bonsai Age: 0
Location: Victoria

Re: Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

Post by MoGanic » June 12th, 2015, 5:51 pm

kcpoole wrote:Hmmm Bougy and I better be on our toes, as this one might go down hill real fast ! :palm:
Interesting question really and I am looking forward to the discussion that will ensue.

From a person that does not own any Japanese pots, for me it will probably the high degree of skill and obvious quality of the item. Unblemished or with that patina that quality will give off. I would think that in photos, there will be little of that obvious, tho.

Ken
Not even one???

Thats no good! Ill check if I have one to spare when I get home, and if so it's all yours! In fact, only one of my Japanese pots is currently ear marked for a tree, the rest aren't doing much at all!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
There are many ways to do things, but only one "best" way.

User avatar
Andrew F
Crafty Tanuki
Crafty Tanuki
Posts: 1898
Joined: December 19th, 2010, 6:06 pm
Favorite Species: Pest species.
Bonsai Age: 5
Bonsai Club: N/A
Location: Raiding a hedgerow.

Re: Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

Post by Andrew F » June 12th, 2015, 5:54 pm

Mudlark.

User avatar
Pat K
Mud Slinger
Mud Slinger
Posts: 410
Joined: January 16th, 2009, 11:59 am
Favorite Species: Acer
Bonsai Age: 10
Bonsai Club: Canberra Bonsai Soc.
Location: Adelong ....midway between Sydney and Melbourne, off the Hume Hwy
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 7 times

Re: Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

Post by Pat K » June 12th, 2015, 6:25 pm

Alleluia.....thank you Rory!!!!!

I would have loved to have started this thread but because of the risk of sounding like sour-grapes I just seethed silently.

Recently Bodhi showed a pot that I would love to own, however, if I made a pot where the glaze quite clearly didn't 'fit' the underlying clay (ie the glaze is not chipping off, it's delaminating!) and the pot was so obviously badly distorted, I would hold it over the wheelie bin and give it a sharp tap with Maxwell's silver hammer.

My beef is the fact that because the pot was made in Asia it doesn't matter if there are problems.......hey, it's imported, it must be good!

So there, I've said it.
Pat

ps I'm not suggesting that Bodhi should deliver the blow, but the potter should have instead of putting it in the export trolley. There is lots to like about the skills involved in making the pot.....but it is a 'second' and should have been treated as such.

User avatar
kcpoole
Perpetual Learner
Perpetual Learner
Posts: 12129
Joined: November 12th, 2008, 4:02 pm
Favorite Species: Maple
Bonsai Age: 15
Bonsai Club: the School Of Bonsai
Location: Western Sydney, NSW, Australia
Has thanked: 8 times
Been thanked: 43 times
Contact:

Re: Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

Post by kcpoole » June 12th, 2015, 6:54 pm

MoGanic wrote:
kcpoole wrote:Hmmm Bougy and I better be on our toes, as this one might go down hill real fast ! :palm:
Interesting question really and I am looking forward to the discussion that will ensue.

From a person that does not own any Japanese pots, for me it will probably the high degree of skill and obvious quality of the item. Unblemished or with that patina that quality will give off. I would think that in photos, there will be little of that obvious, tho.

Ken
Not even one???

Thats no good! Ill check if I have one to spare when I get home, and if so it's all yours! In fact, only one of my Japanese pots is currently ear marked for a tree, the rest aren't doing much at all!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thanks Mo :-)
and yep i do not have any, Never been to Japan ( at least since I was 5), and never been anywhere to purchase good japanese pots :-(

Ken
Check out our Wiki for awesome bonsai information www.ausbonsai.com.au/wiki
What is Bonsai? http://www.ausbonsai.com.au/wiki/index.php?title=Bonsai
What should I do now? http://www.ausbonsai.com.au/wiki/index.php?title=Newbie
How do I grow a Bonsai? http://www.ausbonsai.com.au/wiki/index. ... _a_Bonsai?
Visit a Bonsai nursery to see some real nice trees http://www.ausbonsai.com.au/wiki/index. ... _Nurseries

User avatar
kcpoole
Perpetual Learner
Perpetual Learner
Posts: 12129
Joined: November 12th, 2008, 4:02 pm
Favorite Species: Maple
Bonsai Age: 15
Bonsai Club: the School Of Bonsai
Location: Western Sydney, NSW, Australia
Has thanked: 8 times
Been thanked: 43 times
Contact:

Re: Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

Post by kcpoole » June 12th, 2015, 7:03 pm

Ps I too love Aussie Pots and potters. I have quite a few from PK, Janet Selby and Penny. Also have one from Boris Lomov too :-).
I intend to get some from Regwac ( Graham) and any others I can find too once I get back to work!:-)

I have also purchased some from the US, - P J Katich.

Ken
Check out our Wiki for awesome bonsai information www.ausbonsai.com.au/wiki
What is Bonsai? http://www.ausbonsai.com.au/wiki/index.php?title=Bonsai
What should I do now? http://www.ausbonsai.com.au/wiki/index.php?title=Newbie
How do I grow a Bonsai? http://www.ausbonsai.com.au/wiki/index. ... _a_Bonsai?
Visit a Bonsai nursery to see some real nice trees http://www.ausbonsai.com.au/wiki/index. ... _Nurseries

Guy
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 765
Joined: February 16th, 2010, 6:29 pm
Favorite Species: juniper
Bonsai Age: 15
Location: Winkie SA
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

Post by Guy » June 12th, 2015, 7:18 pm

arguments about subjectivity are...........------ :palm:

Graeme
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 925
Joined: December 17th, 2009, 1:31 pm
Favorite Species: Olive, ficus, azalea
Bonsai Age: 36
Location: Fraser Coast Queensland
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

Post by Graeme » June 12th, 2015, 7:23 pm

To me this question is the same as asking the price of a new Mercedes or Lamborghini. If you have to ask, you can't afford one. I have pots (somewhere) that were made in China. I purchased them in Singapore many years ago for more than a few bob. They are only small pots, under 6" in length, but would be worth a lot more now than I paid for them. Probably not here in Australia, but certainly in Asia. The clay used to make the pots is no longer allowed to be mined as it is used to make Imperial Chinese crockery. Tokoname pots probably are not made from clay of the same class, but I bet the top range pots are made with the same degree of finesse and that is what makes them so valuable. I have a couple of small ones in my collection (never was rich enough to buy large pots) that are totally exquisite to look at. Never have had any desire to plant anything into them. Have no idea about the "collectability" of Bonsai pots and have never bought any with the view of selling them to bolster my Super - they are just such great things to look at and hold.
Graeme
I will forever defend your right
to disagree with my opinion
.

User avatar
JaseH
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 486
Joined: January 13th, 2014, 2:27 pm
Favorite Species: Cedar, Natives, Prunus, Maples
Bonsai Age: 1
Bonsai Club: Waverly, BSV, VNBC
Location: Melbourne

Re: Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

Post by JaseH » June 12th, 2015, 8:12 pm

LOL.. not a lot of pot lovers here? I love some of the locally made pots, I love some of the stuff I'm seeing from potters in the EU and the US. I also love a lot of Japanese pots. You cant just say we have good pots here why the interest in the Japanese stuff, they are totally different. Pretty much Mo is on the money. For a classically styled juniper or pine - an unglazed Japanese or quality chinese pot is hard to go past, we just don't have the clay here to be able to reproduce that.

We need to get one thing straight though - quality hand made pots aren't cheap! Regardless of where they are made. A Japanese or Chinese pot with age and patina demands a high price sure, and there are some Japanese potters who are in demand that you are pay more for, thats the same as any artist who's work is popular at the time. But, most Japanese or Tokoname potters works are very reasonably priced if you look into it.

I'm also just a fan of Japanese craft, those guys have a knack of focusing and refining the shari out of everything they do, yet still managing to maintain a sense of wabi sabi and spiritual connectedness. Be it bonsai, pottery, food, kitchen knives, wood work... they are masters! I admire that in them and appreciate what they produce. :worship:
‘The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.
The next best time is now.’
~Chinese Proverb

Hachinoki Bonsai Pottery: FB | WEB

User avatar
squizzy
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 1402
Joined: March 2nd, 2011, 4:12 pm
Favorite Species: pines
Bonsai Age: 10
Location: sydney
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

Post by squizzy » June 12th, 2015, 8:17 pm

Tokoname

Well now I know it's not some sort of Japanese cartoon

Squizz
1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34 55..............................

User avatar
Gerard
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 2647
Joined: October 7th, 2009, 12:32 pm
Favorite Species: pines
Bonsai Age: 16
Bonsai Club: BSV, Northwest, Northern Suburbs, VNBC
Location: Melbourne
Has thanked: 16 times
Been thanked: 37 times

Re: Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

Post by Gerard » June 12th, 2015, 8:55 pm

I love my Australian pots, PK and Lorraine Simpson are prominent in my collection. Penny Davis is creative and Joann is getting better all the time and making beautiful pots.
Recently I have gained an appreciation for the Japanese pots, especially the older ones.
Tokoname is a village which has a pottery industry. Access to quality clay and generations of experience. It is an industry not a hobby, sure there is sometimes a cheaper mass produced product but the other end of the scale is elite.
The flavour of the month in Japan is ancient Chinese pots. Many Chinese pots were destroyed during the cultural revolution which has made them rare and desirable in both Japan and China
Q: Why are we all here?
A: Because we are not all there.

Post Reply

Return to “Australian Bonsai Potters”