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 Gerard » June 16th, 2015, 11:01 am

Is it possible to make a living producing bonsai pots in Australia? or A hobby/passion?
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Re: Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

Post by Rory » June 16th, 2015, 11:16 am

Andrew Legg wrote: As for Tok pots, to me the name carries some kind of assurance of basic decent quality. Let's not forget that you can buy Tok pots from a catalogue, and whilst in general they are well made, the really valuable ones are not catalogue pots, but rather handmade pots by the master craftsmen with individualism. If PatK spent a bu ch of time making a lovely custom pot for your tree, you'd be willing to pay more for that then if you bought one from her that she'd stamped out in some form of small production run with twenty others. That's just a reflection of the time and individuality that's gone into making something, whether it's a pot, a piece of clothing, a meal or anything else for that matter.
Hi Andrew, yes I can understand that too. However, Pat is not human. He has fireballs that come out of his hands, and lightning bolts eject from his bottom when he spins the wheel. His pot making ability or price is not comparable to Tokotown. ;)

Also, Pat has probably been called a lot of names over the years, but 'she' is one he probably would rather do without. :P
kcpoole wrote:Been following this with interest and had a thought today.
can someone Quantify what makes a "great pot"?

Take 2 pots of similar size, style, clay, etc and without any identification marks, or knowing which was which, how to tell the better one of the 2. I am assuming that they are both 1st quality with no defects, What makes a Tokoname pot better?

Pat K, ( or any other potter) in your experience could you make a duplicate of a Tokoname pot that is indistinguishable ( aside from Chop) from the original?
if not, why?

Ken
Yeah, it would be a very interesting concept, but I don't think you'd need one of our potters to replicate them, you can purchase similar pots in other countries already, but I would certainly be interested in what potters thought of a different styling comparative. You could start the equivalent of the "Iron Pot" tv show on a thread, Ken. :tu: I'm sure you'd get worldwide attention. :hooray:

Though more realistically perhaps once I come into some money soon, I may order a Toko looking equivalent and then order a similar Toko from Japan and compare the pair. Though.... it would be far too tempting to just acquire a whole lot more from :flag:
thoglette wrote:
Rory wrote: in my opinion we place too much emphasis on importing Tokoname pots. I feel that Australian / American potters produce as good as quality if not better in my opinion... for the price you only have to pay here.
I like wine. I can't afford really, really good Bordeaux. I used to be able to afford Cullens somewhat similar wine (my bottle of '85 cost $15 - I shudder to think what replacing that would cost today :palm: ) but they have been "discovered" and are getting prices that reflect that. Now I hunt wines from grapes grown around the corner, from mom-and-pop operations, making similar wine (there's still some left) .

.....

Likewise, while the best Ozzie potters will never match the best Tokoname pots, the best work by PK's et al. will be collectable 50 years on. How silly the asking price will be is impossible to tell today.
:lol: Your post is funny. Though, having tried wine it is kind of similar to this discussion in a way yes. I have been at a Hunter Valley winery and told the cellarman that I prefer reds from Barossa / Margaret River / McLaren Vale because of the strong flavour of their cab. However, he said he doubted I could really tell the difference. I had quite an enjoyable time with this gentleman and he was determined to prove me wrong. He and his salesperson poured 6 wines without telling me anything about them. He said 3 are from those areas and 3 are from the Hunter. I told him after trying them all that I was surprised because I only liked 1 of them. My wife liked them all :lol: He asked which one I liked, and it turns out he had tried to trick me. Apparently I had selected the only 1 that was from the Barossa and the rest were from the Hunter. He technically explained it as probably being the slight peppery or weak flavour of the reds from the Hunter as the reasoning. I sometimes read the back of the labels of wines and think... 'what a load of tripe'. He did indeed say the back of the labels are often just a beat up for the upper market to justify their purchase.

I guess pots are similar to wine. If you can tell the difference between the wines without looking at the labels, then use this as your $$$ point. I have to admit, I'm not much of a wine drinker but I know what I like and I don't need to pay a load of $$$$ to make the wine taste better. For every 100 craft :beer: , I might have 1 wine. But the point is, you can also find extremely good :flag: wine without searching by a label or resorting to importing very over rated French wine. :beer: is the same. I can buy a keg of Franziskhaner German wheat beer and LOVE it. But now, :flag: craft :beer: is now so good, that I prefer to find Kosciuszko Pale Ale, Byron Bay Ale, Stone & Wood, etc... the :flag: list goes on. You can pay a heap of $$$$ for :flag: Knapstein
beer, but my gosh is that an over-rated cash grab to get name drinkers if ever.... sorry getting off topic here.

I feel your statement that the best Australian Potters will never match the best Tokoname pots as :imo: subjectively wrong. :flag: potters are certainly magnificent, and hopefully going forward our members and newer members will think about their pot purchase with their eyes and not by the name on the pot. The majority of typical Tok pots that are available from Japan, are as many users have already said, .... somewhat elegant and plain. Ironically I so often hear that many members complain about seeing all the same style and shapes of JBP or Shimpaku that they always try to push the envelope and make more natural and original styled trees. Well....why would you think any different of the pot. I certainly don't believe that most Australians think of pots for their trees as an afterthought, or that they place less emphasis on pots than they do in China or Japan. Thus, apply the same philosophy to your pot. As Russel Brand says 'bring on the cultural revolution!'

In summation, be a styler, not a sheep buyer.
thoglette wrote: If you were smart (or committed) you'd be doing your best Herb & Dorothy Vogel impersonation and collecting the best of the best NOW instead of complaining!
In regards to my Australian made pots. I never intend to sell them, and have never and never will see them as investments. If you want to invest, go to the stock market, history will reward you. My pots will be passed on to my son / daughter in the hope that they develop an interest in bonsai, otherwise provided I don't have financial issues in future I would give them to fellow bonsai enthusiasts closer to my demise.

I buy Pats pots, Janets pots, Joanns pots, Pennys pots and other :flag: potters because I love them, its that simple.
Last edited by Rory on June 16th, 2015, 11:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

Post by MoGanic » June 16th, 2015, 11:33 am

kcpoole wrote:Jason I agree that it is really hard to compete on price, but I am not really talking about price.

I would like someone to quantify ( if possible). What makes a good Tokoname pot.
Grant mentioned that he is going over to buy a couple of pallets of pots, but also mentioned that he cannot get pots big enough in Australia. Fair enough, but my Question to Grant, is your pallets going to be full of big stuff unavailable here?

If you are getting small ones too then I ask the question,
What makes (new) smaller size Tokoname pots better than locally produced pots? Price?, Quality? Clay types?

Ken
Hey Ken,

Straight up answer is try to compare the two and you'll be left with a notion that neither is better than the other.

If we had the same pots coming out of Oz kilns as they did in Japan, it would just come down to price. If I feel they are of similar quality and look the same, the cheaper pot wins out. Simple as that.

I've yet to meet someone who would pay a higher price for a comparably similar product (we're talking close to identical here folks).

The issue is, the Japanese pots are vastly different to Aussie pots and cannot even be compared based on their styles. As far as quality, theres no reason why an experienced potter here can't create equal quality pots to the best up in Tokoname.

I'd hate for Aussie potters to come out with the exact same product that Japan comes out with. There will be occasions when the superbly unique Aussie pots are required for certain trees and Japanese pots sometimes just do not work. I hold this view especially with our natives. I cannot see a gorgeous Eucalyptus in any Japanese style pots but I often drool over my mental compositions of a native in an Aussie pot.

In the same way I would probably never put a Shimpaku in an unglazed non-japanese pot. If the right pot comes along then I might, but I haven't come across a suiting pot as yet.

Its literally just a matter of preference and what will suit the tree when it comes to what people will choose.

However, on the original question, the entire point of this thread, is asking why people fall in love with Tokoname produced pots.

Well, you may as well ask why the hell any of us do Bonsai, or why when we have decided to do Bonsai do some of us rave on about Tridents and others about Junipers while yet more about some obscure species no one has ever heard of. Heck if anything I'd like to know why so many people are buying Hyundais when for the same price you could get a gorgeous Alfa and have some left over (I love italian cars hence I prefer Alfas while other people will prefer value for money - for me value is style... Lets not even open up that can of worms).

I guess what I'm trying to say is, no one is saying Tokoname is better than our Aussie pots (and if you are, it's a personal preference and you don't need to justify your own preference). But to try understand every preference every one will ever have is absolute nonsense. There will always be things that leave us dumb founded and pot preference seems to be one of them.

I for one cannot understand how this discussion has gone on for so long, as for me it is as simple as do what you like to your trees!

Rant over, back to work!

Mo


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

Post by Wayne R » June 16th, 2015, 11:35 am

My :2c:

I will never own a tree that demands a $10,000 pot or anything that approaches that amount. The max I will probably pay for a pot is around $500 and because of that I don't see a huge premium in a Tokoname pot over one from an Australian potter. I've seen some magic Aussie pots displayed on-line and in this forum and I would be hard pressed to go outside the local industry. If in the future you'd like to hear an Aussie potter's name mentioned with hushed reverence, then now is the time to support them.
Peace
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Re: Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

Post by MoGanic » June 16th, 2015, 11:57 am

Pat K wrote: The best of the Japanese pots are a delight and I marvel at the skill of their creators but they are not the pots I want to make.

Peace,
Pat
Amen brother. Why would you want to, when your pots have their own signature style. If Aussie potters made Japanese style pots then this discussion might make sense. It is the very fact that you and other Aussie potters can produce pots unlike any in the rest of the world that makes them special (at least I haven't seen anyone creating pots like yours - and at this point if they did I would write it off as a Pat K copy).

Cheers and believe me there are many out there waving the Aussie flag.

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

Post by bki » June 16th, 2015, 12:23 pm

Yeah Mo. We have the original and good quality VICTORIAN pots.
P.S. My apologies to the potters in Tokoname. No offence intended.
more trees.....

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

Post by Rory » June 16th, 2015, 12:26 pm

MoGanic wrote: However, on the original question, the entire point of this thread, is asking why people fall in love with Tokoname produced pots.

Well, you may as well ask why the hell any of us do Bonsai, or why when we have decided to do Bonsai do some of us rave on about Tridents and others about Junipers while yet more about some obscure species no one has ever heard of. Heck if anything I'd like to know why so many people are buying Hyundais when for the same price you could get a gorgeous Alfa and have some left over (I love italian cars hence I prefer Alfas while other people will prefer value for money - for me value is style... Lets not even open up that can of worms).
I do understand what you are saying Mo, and thank you for all your insights.
The original question was, why the obsession with Tokoname, when you can acquire similar pots from many other countries and so on. And more so, not to perhaps inadvertantly focus on the name of a pot over all else. Being in Australia, my aim was to highlight :flag: as my first motive, and secondly to perhaps open the minds to question the stamp on the pot. :tu:
MoGanic wrote: I for one cannot understand how this discussion has gone on for so long, as for me it is as simple as do what you like to your trees!
Perhaps replying 6 times in this thread has ironically something to do with it. ;) :whistle: (I mean this in a good way as by definition it may not be that simple as so many users have expressed their thoughts)
Last edited by Rory on June 16th, 2015, 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

Post by JaseH » June 16th, 2015, 12:39 pm

Gerard wrote:Is it possible to make a living producing bonsai pots in Australia? or A hobby/passion?
This is a good question?

Making purely bonsai pots, I'm thinking the latter. The size of the market here is so small, and the portion of that market willing to pay the prices required to make it profitable is even smaller. Not to say there is not full time potters making bonsai pots as part of a range of products they produce. I'd be interested to know too?
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Re: Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

Post by MoGanic » June 16th, 2015, 1:01 pm

Rory wrote:
MoGanic wrote: However, on the original question, the entire point of this thread, is asking why people fall in love with Tokoname produced pots.

Well, you may as well ask why the hell any of us do Bonsai, or why when we have decided to do Bonsai do some of us rave on about Tridents and others about Junipers while yet more about some obscure species no one has ever heard of. Heck if anything I'd like to know why so many people are buying Hyundais when for the same price you could get a gorgeous Alfa and have some left over (I love italian cars hence I prefer Alfas while other people will prefer value for money - for me value is style... Lets not even open up that can of worms).
I do understand what you are saying Mo, and thank you for all your insights.
The original question was, why the obsession with Tokoname, when you can acquire similar pots from many other countries and so on. And more so, not to perhaps inadvertantly focus on the name of a pot over all else. Being in Australia, my aim was to highlight :flag: as my first motive, and secondly to perhaps open the minds to question the stamp on the pot. :tu:
MoGanic wrote: I for one cannot understand how this discussion has gone on for so long, as for me it is as simple as do what you like to your trees!
Perhaps replying 6 times in this thread has ironically something to do with it. ;) :whistle: (I mean this in a good way as by definition it may not be that simple as so many users have expressed their thoughts)
I have a solution!

Let's start calling Aussie pots "Red Earth" pots. No idea what that title has to do with anything, but it's one of the things that could be a descriptor in my opinion. Have a better word/descriptor? Lets hear it! Now this is a discussion I could get involved in.

Then we can all get hyped up about our "Red Earth" or [insert alternative better name here] pots made by the likes of Pat, Marg, Bob (Bob?), Janet, Penny etc...

One day we'll have folk in Papua New Guinea wondering what all the rage is about these "Red Earth" or [insert alternative better name here] pots from down under.

:aussie:

Mo

EDIT: AND MILEY CYRUS WILL TWERK ON ABOUT OUR AMAZING UNIQUE POTS. (I have a feeling that my understanding of Twerking is way off).
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Re: Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

Post by Pat K » June 16th, 2015, 1:04 pm

I have a small second income, I own my cottage in the 'sticks' and I have a large kitchen garden, many fruit trees, chooks and bees and I catch the (very) occasional fish. So yes, taking all this into account, I'm certainly not wanting for anything I need to survive. :)
Oh yes, I only make and sell bonsai pots!
How other potters manage I have no idea.

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

Post by Gerard » June 16th, 2015, 1:36 pm

Thanks Pat.
Red dirt will not work, Tokoname is famous for its red clay.
'Mirkwood pots' is the go. (which are made by Pat Kennedy)
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Re: Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

Post by MoGanic » June 16th, 2015, 1:39 pm

Gerard wrote:Thanks Pat.
Red dirt will not work, Tokoname is famous for its red clay.
'Mirkwood pots' is the go. (which are made by Pat Kennedy)
Mirkwood is a fictional forest in the Lord of The Rings.... would that perhaps cause confusion? :(

If not, I would be more than happy to refer to our pots as "Mirkwood". That has a great ring to it, don't you think?

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

Post by Rory » June 16th, 2015, 1:50 pm

Gerard wrote:Thanks Pat.
Red dirt will not work, Tokoname is famous for its red clay.
'Mirkwood pots' is the go. (which are made by Pat Kennedy)
In fact, "Tokoname" is loosely translated in Black Speech as, "Mordor".
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Re: Tokoname: I don't get it. Whats the big deal?

Post by MoGanic » June 16th, 2015, 2:07 pm

Rory wrote:
Gerard wrote:Thanks Pat.
Red dirt will not work, Tokoname is famous for its red clay.
'Mirkwood pots' is the go. (which are made by Pat Kennedy)
In fact, "Tokoname" is loosely translated in Black Speech as, "Mordor".
Well that settles it for me. Although not all of our potters will be from here, I think it is a good word. Mirkwood. Yes. I like it.

Any objections? I think perhaps the potters should have a say in this though haha.

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

Post by JaseH » June 16th, 2015, 2:12 pm

Well Tokoname and Yixing are where the clay deposits are located - hence the potteries basically sprung on top of it. Where's the clay come from in Australia? :lost:
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