This fine Banko teapot is made by Masaki Tachi, a Master craftsman recognized by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan. Masaki Tachi is known for his stylish shapes and forms and precise work decorating his teapots with a tobikanna pattern (jumping pattern).
This effect is created by holding the tip of a flexible metal tool against the side of the unfired pot (while the potter’s wheel is turning) and applying both pressure and the correct angle to the surface of the clay where the incised cuts are desired. Control is essential in achieving harmonious and pleasing effects – in the hands of a skilled potter such as Masaki Tachi the tobikanna effects are intricate and precise.
The incised tobikanna pattering juxtaposes a contrasting matte-finish to the smoothly-polished surfaces of the Banko clay. The teapot is medium brown in color and has bands of smooth and polished clay in between the areas of tokibanna.
Banko ware was first made in the early 1700’s in Yokkaichi City, Mie Prefecture. Banko teapots are made from an unglazed clay and they are similar to Tokoname teapots in their elegant style and size. Both Banko and Tokoname teawares feature light, mineral-rich, fine-grained clays which can be fashioned into elegant, lightweight, thin-walled teapots.
Banko clay is called Shidei or purple clay but Banko clay is not the same as the purple clay which is used in China to make Yixing teapots. The rich lustrous appearance of Banko is the result of the reduction firing method used in the kiln. A reduction kiln lacks oxygen, and it is this facet of the kiln that is responsible for turning the naturally yellow, iron-rich clay into a palette of rich earth colors that range from medium-brown to blackish-purple.
Banko wares are simple yet sophisticated. Many teapots feature only the simplicity of form and shape and a smooth finish, allowing the skill of the potter to take center stage. Decorative elements are subtle and understated and add to, not distract from, the overall essence of the teapot.
This is a handmade item – slight variations in the painting, colors, tooling, patterning and kiln effects of Chinese and Japanese tea wares are to be expected. We have carefully photographed this item as best as possible – please be aware that different device screens can render colors and subtle tones slightly differently.
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