Shimizu Suigetsu is a third generaton Banko potter. He has continued the faithful tradition of his pottery ancestry while enhancing his teawares with new designs using original techniques.
The sandblast method of decorating was developed about 20 years ago by Suigetsu Toen. It is a technique of blowing sand onto the surface of the teapot. As a result, three layers are formed – an untouched layer, a layer that is carved and a layer that is covered by sand illustrations. This technique allows varying colors of striped patterns to be freely expressed on the surface of the teapots.
The body of this teapot is soft rich brown in color with a slight metallic shimmer. The sandblasted chevrons are executed in colors of light grey and black in an alternating and contrasting pattern, and the match from lid to teapot body is flawlessly executed. The areas of sandblasted design add visual as well as textural interest to this stunning teapot.
This teapot has a large opening which would make it very useful for steeping oolong tea.
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 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 which 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 skills of the potters 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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