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About two years ago, Boon Manakitivipart introduced me to a few new pots he had found on one of his trips to Japan.  Interestingly enough the potter chop spelled Bunzan.  For those of you know that know Bonsai Boon the irony is obvious.

Bunzan Drum Pot

Bunzan Drum Pot

His use of colors really fascinated KJ and I so we undertook to find more of these pots and build a collection.  As you will see from some of the following photographs, his pots have a faint reminiscence of Tofukuji glazes though his pots shapes are not as refined as his.

I asked Yoshi to see if he could obtain a bit of background on Bunzan.  He reached out to Ms. Shima the proprietor of Bonsai Howawa to obtain a short bio on Bunzan.  Kaoru Ito uses the name Bunzan for his pots.  he was born on May 10, 1949 and began making pots by hand when he was 24 years old.    Bunzan does not use molds and produces his works by the touch of his fingers.

KJ and I have collected over 40 of his pots for our personal collection and to give away a few to close friends.  We enjoy his use of color.  Many of his pots are round or oval with an occasional square or rectangle pot to be found.  He also on a rare occasion creates a pot that represents items like acorns, squash etc.

His use of color is fascinating.  Photos really don’t allow you to appreciate the vibrancy and saturation of the colors he uses.

This is one of our favorite pots by Bunzan. Even though the shape of the pot is plain the glaze is extremely good.

Here a number of his pots so please enjoy and click the image for a larger version of the photo.

Bunzan’s studio as expected is small with pots everywhere.  Boon took theses photos on his last trip to Japan.  Fortunately he was kind enough to allow KJ and I to collect three new pots which will be the subject of a future post.

Bunzan's Studio

Bunzan's Studio

I hope you have enjoyed reading about this potter.  Please post your thoughts about his work.

Merry Christmas to all of you!

Sam and KJ