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

Posted: April 7th, 2016, 3:09 pm
by Rory
I came across a very nice round toko pot that was 50cm in diameter. Wow, the weight was certainly the main factor to why I was intrigued. I could have easily carried this baby over my shoulder with just a few fingers holding it. I have not managed to acquire many Aussie pots in this size range, but the weight of this would have been the equivalent to something in the 25/30cm range of a lot of aussie pots. I can certainly understand when it comes to the larger end of bonsai, why it is more appealing to go with a Tokoname pot simply on weight. Once you pack in a tree of this size and all the soil, and water, then it can become quite an important factor to the overall weight.

Some of the aussie pots I have purchased off individuals here in Australia are just magnificent, but the equivalent size of that pot in 50cm or 60cm pots or larger would make them very heavy indeed.

I also definitely understand what Grant said, being... if you want a symmetrical pot over 40/50cm or larger it is very difficult, if not impossible to source aussie made pots for this size without being free-form. :(

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

Posted: July 23rd, 2019, 12:47 pm
by Rory
What better time to BUMP this thread than the fast approaching, Earth & Fire exhibition/sale:

viewtopic.php?f=25&t=27037&p=267821&hil ... re#p267821

I can't wait to see what all the Australian potters will have on show.

When you are there at the event guys, just remember that you aren't paying shipping/postage from Japan/China.

And most importantly if you like something unique, buy it straight away as it might not be there later.
Paying $300 for a small Tokoname pot versus $60-$80 for the equivalent Australian sized pot is something to remember on the day.

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

Posted: July 23rd, 2019, 1:25 pm
by TimS
If the pot suits the tree then I’m happy.

I have a Marg Fenn pot with a glaze that picks up really well on the rock in one of my root over rock trident maples. It was almost meant for that pot, though it’s a fraction small and makes watering in summer hard. I moved it into another pot this year to let it strengthen and be easier to look after in the really hot days.

I also have some tokoname pots; a couple of them I got because I loved the glaze, one has a nice little bit of patina on it. Also some random ¥500 cheap mame pots I picked up while on holiday in Japan. When it comes to value for money, those cheap ones look the business for the money.

At the end of the day, all I want is an aesthetically suitable pot for the tree, regardless of who makes it.

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

Posted: July 23rd, 2019, 10:46 pm
by MJL
TimS wrote:
July 23rd, 2019, 1:25 pm
If the pot suits the tree then I’m happy.
Yep ... and as another idea .... commission a free-form pot from a local potter with no more than a sketch and a whim ...
and no tree in mind ... and then let the artisan work their craft - the resultant pot may stir the creative juices when the pot arrives ...

I love the fact that I have access to local potters.

I’ll add that even though I don’t own one - I like the idea/romance of an old pot from Japan or other shores but to date, my special pots are crafted locally.

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

Posted: July 24th, 2019, 6:56 am
by TimS
MJL wrote:
July 23rd, 2019, 10:46 pm
TimS wrote:
July 23rd, 2019, 1:25 pm
If the pot suits the tree then I’m happy.
Yep ... and as another idea .... commission a free-form pot from a local potter with no more than a sketch and a whim ...
and no tree in mind ... and then let the artisan work their craft - the resultant pot may stir the creative juices when the pot arrives ...

I love the fact that I have access to local potters.

I’ll add that even though I don’t own one - I like the idea/romance of an old pot from Japan or other shores but to date, my special pots are crafted locally.
I have far too many pots laying around, not being used, to be commissioning more! I’m glad people are doing it though, and supporting some excellent potters here.

IIRC Tokoname is better known for producing toilets and tea sets than bonsai pots. It’s just the area where they happen to be based. When it comes to modern Japanese pots, I personally have an affinity for the glazes that come from the Koyo kiln. But, like anything, there are levels of quality that you balance between what you want and what you can afford.

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

Posted: July 25th, 2019, 10:08 pm
by bunce
I think something that has been missed in the interpritation of the 'history' the bonsai pot tells, but its visible signs of age, is that the Chinese firstly created penjing, and later the Japanese invaded China, with their Samurai, and took everything, 3 freaking time! they stole pots, trees, suiseki, craftsmen, language and more. They took these things back to Japan and took what they liked and appropriated the art to fit their culture, they wanted to add their refinement to it.

When you talk about tokoname, you might not realise, that it was firstly an industrial region, where all the terracotta tiles and pipes were kilned for the nation, amongst other places. Tokoname, from what i have seen was one of the biggest, and mostly central to Japan. So the potters decided they could piggy back off these kilns, and asked to fire their pots there. This is where the best potters set up shop, and got some free rides in the kilns. These potters in the 1930's, 1940's developed the 'rule book' as it were on the aesthetics of bonsai pottery. And so they passed on these qualities down the generations to today.

It is because the styles of pots were from these potters, still used today, that gives tokoname its reputation. Not to mention these guys often were not happy with the low fired tempratures of these kilns, and so built smaller kilns for their pottery for a second hotter firing, giving them a lightness and strength, with no permiability. Quality, design, aesthetics. This is tokoname.


now to say other potters from around the world dont have this is nonsense, but when in Rome right?

bunce.