Hamada Shoji (1894-1978)

Slab molded ‘henko’ bottle vase
Nuka and tenmoku glazes
23 x 16.5 x 8.5 cm
9 x 6 ½ x 3 ¼ inches
Box signed and sealed by Hamada
Hamada produced several different vessels from molds and this one, with its broad shoulders, proud neck and canvass-like major faces, is our favorite. While such vases often displayed Hamada’s brilliant brushwork, for quite a different effect, after biscuit firing in yellow ochre slip, they were also dipped or poured in combinations of nuka and tenmoku glazes. This layering often produced striking bands of color ranging between the textured matte white nuka (named for its use of rice straw ash, though it also requires wood ash and stone), and the glossy green-speckled black tenmoku (containing red stone and wood ash). In this rare instance, the thick nuka predominates and the vase is essentially white. Beneath the neck and shoulders, however, the nuka thins and the tenmoku emerges gradually, giving the vase the stillness and depth of a landscape painting. The energetic Hamada rarely achieved such quiet. Excellent for winter flowers.
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