This is my first post sharing pieces I own and love, so I'll start with these two pots by Yasushi Mizuno, the first ones I bought with the intention of starting a collection. I got them in December of 2016 at Sara Japanese Pottery, a New York City gallery specialized in Japanese ceramics, lacquerware, and glass.
I was drawn primarily to the motifs—dogs and tiny furniture? yes, please—the unevenness of the forms, and the humor. Art can always afford to take itself less seriously, and Yasushi Mizuno does that with elegance and skill.
The little dog head on the bud vase is the piece's strongest point of interest, but to me it's the uneven tab at the top that makes the piece. Then there's the finger mark on the glaze, and I'm a glaze-finger-mark enthusiast, so that, too, works for me.
The katakuchi is my favorite of the two, though. The curve from the bowl to the spout flows beautifully, but there's also a pleasant awkwardness to the proportions that, to me, makes the piece even more likable. I love the texture and the color; the slip on the outside is a dream to hold in your hands.
And then there's the chair, so freaking unexpected and cute. That little chair is like an act of kindness by the potter. The pot was already perfect—the potter didn't have to give us anything else, but he did. He gave us a tiny chair. Ugh, I love it.
(I'm assuming this was made as a katakuchi because the potter is Japanese, but for all I know it could be used simply as a spouted bowl. It would make a great netilat yadayim cup, too. If only I kept the Shabbat...)
Looking at these awesome pots for the hundreth time, I don’t think I could have chosen a better place to start my collection. If these little guys don’t make your heart sing, you’re dead inside.
Yasushi Mizuno (Kyoto, 1973)
Purchased at Sara Japanese Pottery, New York, December 2016