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midieval japan

updated mon 31 mar 97


dan wilson on tue 11 mar 97

During our discussion of Voulkos Kevin and Vince mentioned Midieval
Japanese Pottery. This sent me to my only reference on this period. Earnest
F. Fenollosa's "Epochs of Chinese and Japanese Art". Informative but deals
mostly with painting and sculptures. Discusses the popularity of
portraiture as an indicator of the current mood "adoration of
individuality. This sounds vaguely familiar. Isn't the work of Voulkos et
al a kind of portraiture and aren't we in a period of celebrating the
individual? Any recomendations? A reference on this period of Japanese

Dan Wilson; Heading to the library and used bookstores soon.

Sandra Dwiggins on wed 12 mar 97

I happened to have a few books on my desk and looked up what I
thought was the main influence for Voulkos' abstract expressionist
approach to clay--Bizen ware. Bizen tea ceremony ware is a type of
traditional stoneware--typically unglazed and very rugged looking--it's
irregularity is it's primary characteristic. Bizen is a kiln that is still in
production today, but started in the Kamakura period 1185-1332. I guess
this would be Medieval Japan. It antidates the Shino and Oribe periods.

You all could quarrel with my choosing Bizen as Voulkos influence, I
suppose. But, nothing before Bizen has that emphasis on irreguarity and
artful hapazardness. And Shino and Oribe are full of painting and

I got the art history info out of Shino and Oribe Ceramics by R. Fujioka.

Kodansha International used to have a great book on the Tea Cermony
as part of this series and it had lots of interesting photos of Bizen. I lost
my copy to a fire several years ago and have never seen a replacement.