A Faceted Bottle Vase

Artist: Shimaoka Tatsuzo (1919-2007)
stoneware, the press-moulded faceted body formed using the nerikomi technique to create a tan and brown chequerboard effect, each facet with an incised circular motif with angled lines, artist's seal to the base.
Height: 23.2 cm
Width: 14.5 cm
Depth: 14.5 cm
Price: P.O.A.

This piece is sold with an original box, signed and inscribed by the artist

Hoshi-Tada Yasuko, Japan

This unusal form of bottle vase is one that Shimaoka used from time to time and is mostly seen in a plain stoneware clay with impressed ropework decoration. The construction of the complex angles and jointing of this press-moulded form is extremely demanding, but to make it, as here, using the nerikomi technique adds an additional layer of difficulty to say the least. The nerikomi technique creates a block of mixed clays, here arranged in a chequerboard pattern, from which slices are taken to work with. Obviously, such patterning means that every edge needs to be consistent and tidy as well as the two halves of the moulded form making a join that does not distract from the overall design. 

The end result is something that manages to be both a display of skill but also retains its hand-made qualities. Too precise and it would lose the joy of making, too untidy and it might feel messy. Instead, Shimaoka brings a balance and harmony to the piece, using his mastery of the technique to create a vessel which is pleasing on so many levels.

Born in Tokyo in 1929, Yasuko Hoshi-Tada came from a family with both scientific and artistic connections and she maintained many close friendships with some of the most significant figures in the Japanese craft world. She spent a good deal of her life in America but continued her interest in Japanese craft, visiting Japan at least twice a year and also hosting Japanese artists when they visited the US. Her children remember such interesting details as being taught to turn the potter's wheel by Hamada and eating after-hours with the staff of the Japan Folk Crafts Museum once the visitors had departed, as well as their mother taking Hamada shopping in New York! Her collection included works by several important Japanese potters, including Hamada, Kawai, Shimaoka, Kaneshige and Tomimoto  

A Faceted Bottle Vase
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