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

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

Post by peterb »

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

Post by JaseH »

CoGRedeMptioN wrote: Silly bloody question! Can the required clay be "Mixed" from its constituent materials? As in, make it!?!?

Along the lines of mixing a cake mix...

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

Post by Rory »

I'll have to do this follow up post as a matter of following through with my statements. ("ahhh, the ol' Toko chestnut", I hear a lot of you say.)

So....after all the thoughts on here and the discussions regarding Tokoname quality pots - as I stated I would - I went and commited to finally purchasing one.

My thoughts after this haven't changed but I will say, the first thing that took my interest was that I was surprised at the weight of this particular Tokoname pot. It was quite light, had a lovely colour to it, and I do like it. But for the price it will probably be my last or last of a few Toko pots that I would likely purchase. Unless of course as Grant points out, I end up with substantially large sized bonsai in need of a big ol' pot.

The main reasons would still be that I want to support and prop up our local hand made potting industry which is highly undervalued. I like to buy anything Australian if it is of high quality. And secondly, I still feel having seen so many Tokoname pots in person that I have not purchased, that they still seem like something I can buy elsewhere. On a side note, I particularly love a lot of what some potters in the UK and the US are doing.

There was a thread a few years ago on a potters site talking about highly prized and old Tokoname pots, and that on a trip through Japan the exhibitors pointed out a fake one. The blogger mentions that not even Supermans vision or any of the attendees would have been able to point out the difference except for obviously their inside knowledge on why the fakes were fake. I think this is a significant point of what I was making about Tokotown. I don't mean that there are oodles of Toko fakes, but I mean if many experts can't tell the difference, then paying a premium for this prestige is simply that.

Again, buy Toko pots if you love them by all means. I am not saying otherwise to discredit Japan, but rather to highlight our fantastic potters.
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Re: Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

Post by Gerard »

Fair criticism Rory, It should come down to how it looks and feels. Human beings are funny with their belief that they can buy prestige.
I have customers at work wanting to buy Prada or Chanel. If they were to be offered the same product as a 'cleanskin' without the ink to display the branding and at half the price there is a clear conviction that they want the prestige and want others to be aware of it!
Having said that, I do have quite a few Tokoname pots and do enjoy them.
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Re: Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

Post by Scott Roxburgh »

I think the fakes would have been more expensive than we are talking here, Tofukuji maybe.
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Re: Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

Post by wrcmad »

Gerard wrote:Fair criticism Rory, It should come down to how it looks and feels. Human beings are funny with their belief that they can buy prestige.
I have customers at work wanting to buy Prada or Chanel. If they were to be offered the same product as a 'cleanskin' without the ink to display the branding and at half the price there is a clear conviction that they want the prestige and want others to be aware of it!
I am a huge advocate for not buying "brand names" just for the badge and status.
However, I don't believe this is the case with good quality Tokos.
There is no substitute for good quality clays and glazings - especially in an unglazed pot.
If I could buy a cheaper imitation, I would jump at the chance... but they don't exist in cheaper Chinese pots - the quality, texture, look, and feel just isn't there, and its glaringly obvious at first glance.
If I spend hour upon hour over a number of years developing a tree, then I feel I am doing a disservice to both myself, and the tree, by putting it in a cheap Chinese slip-cast.
Rory wrote:Again, buy Toko pots if you love them by all means. I am not saying otherwise to discredit Japan, but rather to highlight our fantastic potters.
I'd love to buy pots from Aussie potters, but they are too difficult to source.
I live in an area where I don't have easy access to the metro shows where these potters have sales tables. And there are minimal internet sales.
Besides this, it is really difficult to find something that isn't wheel spun - say a >300mm unglazed rectangular.
Maybe I am missing something? ... please point me in the right direction if I am. Because it is really disappointing that Toko's are so much easier to procure in Australia than are Australian pots. :lost:
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Re: Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

Post by Andrew Legg »

Sounds to me like it's about time the Aussie potters start getting a co-op going to make their produce more widely available. That is after all what Tokoname does. OzPot.com has a nice ring to it!
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Re: Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

Post by JaseH »

Andrew Legg wrote:Sounds to me like it's about time the Aussie potters start getting a co-op going to make their produce more widely available. That is after all what Tokoname does. OzPot.com has a nice ring to it!
That's an interesting idea Andrew. I'd be happy to look into setting something up if there is enough interest from potters.

The problems I have found with online selling of 'one off' hand crafted items, is the amount of additional work involved.

With one-offs, ideally you must take multiple (good)photographs of each item, measure, record and write a description of each item, upload it all to a website... this takes a lot of time and effort for each pot which you cant really charge extra for. Most potters also aren't that tech savvy, why would they do all this extra work for each pot when they are doing ok selling direct via club sales tables or sales days etc. With Marg's pots, we prefer to try and sell them direct through the clubs etc. first as its the least amount of work and we're confident the person buying will be happy because they get to see it in the flesh and dont need to try and visualise the size, glaze and texture via an online photograph.

Most of the more affordable Tokoname pots direct from the Tokoname website are basically production pieces - they can photograph and describe one example, produce a catalog and be confident that they can then supply an identical item when an order is received - minimal work.

A better idea may be a facebook sales page for Aussie potters to post pots up for sale. I follow a couple of international pages that successfully do this. But then the issue is you limit your audience to those that use facebook.
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Re: Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

Post by Rory »

wrcmad wrote:
Gerard wrote:Fair criticism Rory, It should come down to how it looks and feels. Human beings are funny with their belief that they can buy prestige.
I have customers at work wanting to buy Prada or Chanel. If they were to be offered the same product as a 'cleanskin' without the ink to display the branding and at half the price there is a clear conviction that they want the prestige and want others to be aware of it!
If I could buy a cheaper imitation, I would jump at the chance... but they don't exist in cheaper Chinese pots - the quality, texture, look, and feel just isn't there, and its glaringly obvious at first glance.
If I spend hour upon hour over a number of years developing a tree, then I feel I am doing a disservice to both myself, and the tree, by putting it in a cheap Chinese slip-cast.
Yeah, I completely understand.
Rory wrote:Again, buy Toko pots if you love them by all means. I am not saying otherwise to discredit Japan, but rather to highlight our fantastic potters.
I'd love to buy pots from Aussie potters, but they are too difficult to source.
I live in an area where I don't have easy access to the metro shows where these potters have sales tables. And there are minimal internet sales.
Besides this, it is really difficult to find something that isn't wheel spun - say a >300mm unglazed rectangular.
Maybe I am missing something? ... please point me in the right direction if I am. Because it is really disappointing that Toko's are so much easier to procure in Australia than are Australian pots. :lost:[/quote]

That is sad. But I can understand your thoughts. I have however simply paid for the shipping from numerous potters to send their goods to me via the post. If you just request normal postage it isn't that expensive, but I agree it would be great to have a central hub type thing online to join them all up. Fortunately over the years you get to know all the contacts for potters in AU, and I believe we also have a link for a few somewhere here... i'll just get it...

https://www.ausbonsai.com.au/wiki/index. ... _Australia

I believe that is missing a few potters, but that is a good start. And yes, I do also agree it is hard to find a good rectangular pot. I don't know why, but you don't often see these made by a lot of potters. I have been told before that it takes longer to make rectangular pots than a circular one. But again, it all depends on what the potter is prepared to make. You don't necessarily need facebook to view facebook images. Joann from Victoria has a facebook account that she shows her pots on, and I don't have a facebook account, but I can view her pots easily without one.

httpss://www.facebook.com/pages/Bonsai-P ... 5670584266

Sorry, I'm at work and FB doesn't load, but I think that is her site above. You just click on the link that says 'back to gallery' or something. Joann has made rectangular pots for me before and I have paid for the postage for her to ship them to me, but she is trialling new moulds for larger different sizes slowly.

Unfortunately the lack of rectangular pots is also something I have noticed too, I hear you bud.
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Re: Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

Post by kcpoole »

Andrew Legg wrote:SOzPot.com has a nice ring to it!
and it is already taken :crybye:
But ozpot.net.au was available until this morning :lol: :lol:

Interesting thread guys and food for thought. I have been thinking on these lines for a while now and just need to get my act together and
a/ Set up an online shop with payment ( would bpay suit everyone? or woud one prefer credit / debit cards as well)
b/ source stock ( and find someway to store it :palm: )
c/ Arrange couriers / delivery process
d/ Sell it all :cool: :lost:

the only problem is that most of our artists are spread all over the place and collection of stock initially is hard and costly in time and potentially money

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

Post by JaseH »

kcpoole wrote:
the only problem is that most of our artists are spread all over the place and collection of stock initially is hard and costly in time and potentially money

Ken
Ken,

I think trying to hold stock yourself and sell it is probably the wrong way to go. Like you said, its costly and will jack up the price. Best to create a service that the potters themselves can use to sell through. One site that all the Australian potters can use to post their wares up - the orders are then sent directly to the individual potter. Like an 'Etsy' for Australian bonsai potters.

Probably getting a bit off topic now?
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Re: Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

Post by thoglette »

kcpoole wrote: the only problem is that most of our artists are spread all over the place and collection of stock initially is hard and costly in time and potentially money
So don't do the "central warehouse" thing.

Instead acquire option rights on the pots and keep them at the potters/gallery/nearby-store. And ship once, not twice. Much less capital intensive.

The big problems for .au pot collectors are: finding the right pots; reliable & cost effective packing & shipping; and sorting out payment/warrantee issues. Doubly so for overseas buyers.

You provide value via an aggregation & forwarding service. With consistent photos/descriptions/gradings. For the potters/galleries they get a whole pile of exposure for their wares and brands, plus a little cash for agreeing to giving you "first dibs" at a particular price.

Sure, you'll want to have certain "trophy" pieces in "stock" , including some antique pieces - perhaps occasionally "loaned" for exhibits to create press coverage. And if you actually have a shop front anywhere (even a "pop up" or for shows) then you'll need a few "typical" pieces from each supplier.

(ps I see I'm too slow, but +1 JaseH)
Last edited by thoglette on October 9th, 2015, 3:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

Post by kcpoole »

thoglette wrote:
kcpoole wrote: the only problem is that most of our artists are spread all over the place and collection of stock initially is hard and costly in time and potentially money
So don't do the "central warehouse" thing.

Instead acquire option rights on the pots and keep them at the potters/gallery/nearby-store. And ship once, not twice. Much less capital intensive.

The big problems for .au pot collectors are: finding the right pots; reliable & cost effective packing & shipping; and sorting out payment/warrantee issues. Doubly so for overseas buyers.

You provide value via an aggregation & forwarding service. With consistent photos/descriptions/gradings. For the potters/galleries they get a whole pile of exposure for their wares and brands, plus a little cash for agreeing to giving you "first dibs" at a particular price.

Sure, you'll want to have certain "trophy" pieces in "stock" , including some antique pieces - perhaps occasionally "loaned" for exhibits to create press coverage. And if you actually have a shop front anywhere (even a "pop up" or for shows) then you'll need a few "typical" pieces from each supplier.

(ps I see I'm too slow, but +1 )
I was actually thinking of just that myself, Being a portal so to speak, and relying on the suppliers ( potters) to hold stock and do the shipping.
More work for them and possibly might cause issue re ensuring timely delivery and warranty, but i am sure that might not be insurmountable.

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

Post by Andrew Legg »

kcpoole wrote:
Andrew Legg wrote:SOzPot.com has a nice ring to it!
and it is already taken :crybye:
But ozpot.net.au was available until this morning :lol: :lol:

Ken
That's the spirit Ken! :cool:
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Re: Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

Post by Grant Bowie »

image.jpeg
Here in Tokoname at the moment. Visited 9 working kilns yesterday and bought a few pots.
In the kiln in the photo there is One very large kiln and two smaller but can make very big pots right down to Shohin. He fires pots every two weeks.


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