For years, whenever I happened to see an image of a teapot made by the esteened potter Soukou, I would feel a pang of lust for it.
Soukou (Umehara Souhei) has now retired, and several of his teapots have come our way. Which means the time has come to claim the teapots of his that are still for sale before they disappear from the marketplace. Soukou’s teapots remind me of the teapots that we have from Gyokudo: precise, fine work that is extremely detailed The surfaces of the teapots are burnished to a very high polish and the clay in the teapots has been worked to a very fine and elegant thin-ness.
The body of the teapot has a raised, roughed-up texture that is in sharp contract to the glass-smooth lid, handle and spout. A small detail but a most effective one. Soukou’s teapots feature simple, uncomplicated designs of flowers expressed in colors that conveys the joy of nature and brings the natural world to the tea table. The flowers are nicely framed by two panels that suggest a scene from a Japanese fan or screen.
This is a handmade item – slight variations in the painting, colors, tooling, patterning and kiln effects of Chinese and Japanese teawares 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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