Ode to the Kyusu

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Bok
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Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:45 pm

Chip wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:41 pm
Interesting. I have purchased 4 Ito Gafu kyusu over the last 4 years. They are all very Japanese in style ... no resemblance to Yixing. Each are very finely crafted. I'll likely continue collecting his work.

I became interested in his work due to his indirect albeit connection to Yamada Jozan III. He trained under Fugetsu who trained under Jozan III.
It is not all of his pots, but almost all his back handle designs have direct ancestors in Chinese styles. He also collects early Jozan works it seems, as well as copying those (who are in turn also still Chinese in the early stages).
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Sun Jun 14, 2020 9:32 pm

Thank you for the information, Chip, and, wow, what a great picture of your set of pieces!

I quite liked the look of the filters from AN's pictures, such a nice slightly raised border around those neatly arranged holes. It's fantastic to hear that they not only look beautiful but are also very functional. I love how the end of the handle of the taller kyusu is a bit rounded at the end.

I'm happy to read such a positive endorsement of Mokusen's teapots, and I agree with you that AN's batch having been in family possession all these years make those teapots very special.

---

Bok, that's an interesting observation regarding Gafu's pieces being almost exact copies of antique Yixing pots.

I wonder if this might be an intermediate phase, where he is learning by copying, and there might be a future more individual phase when he feels he can synthesise Chinese and Japanese styles. That would be something I would quite look forward to.

And yes, Ito Gafu is concurrently also doing other lines of teapots that are wholly Japanese in style. I don't know if this "Chinese side" is something that he is exploring systematically or if it's just something he enjoys privately; his instagram has many pictures of him brewing Chinese teas. The fact that he has been putting out a line of gaiwans might point to him wanting to make other Chinese-influenced teaware available to the public (thés du japon sells some of his gaiwans with mogake patterns), but even so it's probably more something that he just likes than a market niche with a lot of untapped demand.
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Sun Jun 14, 2020 9:42 pm

student t wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 9:32 pm

Bok, that's an interesting observation regarding Gafu's pieces being almost exact copies of antique Yixing pots.

I wonder if this might be an intermediate phase, where he is learning by copying, and there might be a future more individual phase when he feels he can synthesise Chinese and Japanese styles. That would be something I would quite look forward to.

And yes, Ito Gafu is concurrently also doing other lines of teapots that are wholly Japanese in style. I don't know if this "Chinese side" is something that he is exploring systematically or if it's just something he enjoys privately; his instagram has many pictures of him brewing Chinese teas. The fact that he has been putting out a line of gaiwans might point to him wanting to make other Chinese-influenced teaware available to the public (thés du japon sells some of his gaiwans with mogake patterns), but even so it's probably more something that he just likes than a market niche with a lot of untapped demand.
I think it is his personal interest, a friend of mine knows him personally and mentioned he is a proper Chajin, obsessed with tea. As he is young, I think it reasonable to expect that he will find his own expression later on – although by using his own clays, it is already something else entirely.
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Tor
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Mon Jun 15, 2020 1:01 am

I guess Gafu's interest in Chinese style probably dated back quite some time. This's his teapot that I bought in 2015. He didn't have his own kiln back then.

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Mon Jun 15, 2020 1:38 am

Tor wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 1:01 am
I guess Gafu's interest in Chinese style probably dated back quite some time. This's his teapot that I bought in 2015. He didn't have his own kiln back then.


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Oh, very nice pot!
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Mon Jun 15, 2020 2:06 am

Tor wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 1:01 am
I guess Gafu's interest in Chinese style probably dated back quite some time. This's his teapot that I bought in 2015. He didn't have his own kiln back then.
Image
Proportions look very Japanese. Nice kyusu, similar to some Shimizu Ken shudei.
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Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:21 am

Apart from the handle, which would be smaller in a Chinese pot, I’d consider this pretty typical proportions.
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Tor
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Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:14 am

The spout tip is definitely Japanese.
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Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:16 am

Tor wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:14 am
The spout tip is definitely Japanese.
Four sure, as is the lid knob. My point was just that the overall proportions are nothing typical Japanese. But classic proportions as many 1000s of antiques had before.
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Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:20 am

Tor wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:14 am
The spout tip is definitely Japanese.
But then... look at this picture - Japanese or Chinese? ;)
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Tor
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Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:29 am

I’d say, if the lower lip had followed the upper lip up then that’d be Chinese. This one looks 70-80% Japanese to me. :lol:
Bok wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:20 am
Tor wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:14 am
The spout tip is definitely Japanese.
But then... look at this picture - Japanese or Chinese? ;)
Image
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Tor
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Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:34 am

I think so. It reminds me of the time when Japanese started learning to make teapot from Chinese.
Bok wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:16 am
Tor wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:14 am
The spout tip is definitely Japanese.
Four sure, as is the lid knob. My point was just that the overall proportions are nothing typical Japanese. But classic proportions as many 1000s of antiques had before.
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Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:47 am

Tor wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:29 am
I’d say, if the lower lip had followed the upper lip up then that’d be Chinese. This one looks 70-80% Japanese to me. :lol:
Bok wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:20 am
Tor wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:14 am
The spout tip is definitely Japanese.
But then... look at this picture - Japanese or Chinese? ;)
Image
It’s an Yixing from the late ROC period ;)
The guys in Yixing have done more designs and styles over the centuries than many can imagine.

I am often surprised when I flick through books of antiques and see designs I thought to be modern, on Qing period pieces.
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Tor
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Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:06 am

Ahh! That’s good to know! Thank you.
Bok wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:47 am
Tor wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:29 am
I’d say, if the lower lip had followed the upper lip up then that’d be Chinese. This one looks 70-80% Japanese to me. :lol:
Bok wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:20 am


But then... look at this picture - Japanese or Chinese? ;)
Image
It’s an Yixing from the late ROC period ;)
The guys in Yixing have done more designs and styles over the centuries than many can imagine.

I am often surprised when I flick through books of antiques and see designs I thought to be modern, on Qing period pieces.
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Mon Jun 15, 2020 9:12 am

Bok wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:08 pm
I do find them a bit too sterile though and those clays have one disadvantage next to Yixing: the patina won’t develop as nicely if any at all.
Kind of a digression, but I wonder if this is universally regarded as a disadvantage or if there are people out there that aren't fans of patina.

I used to dabble a bit in the world of carbon steel kitchen knives, and an interesting observation (if memory serves) was that it the practice of removing patina seemed to be more common in Japan than elsewhere.
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