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Today we will share pots by Gekkou Ito. His date of birth is May 22, 1939 (Showa 14). In 1959, he began to make Sometsuke pots; Sometsuke refers to the Japanese porcelain ware which is hand painted in under glazed blue, generally cobalt oxide. He grew up in a ceramic art family, and made Sometsuke, Akae (red over glaze), Gosai (five colors) pots.  His works are almost Horinuki without using patterns. As for his paintings on his bonsai pots he was influenced by Tsukinowa-Yusen.

Gekkou Ito (14.3 x 12.2 x 3.6 cm)

Gekkou Ito (14.3 x 12.2 x 3.6 cm)

Gekkou Ito (14.3 x 12.2 x 3.6 cm)

Gekkou Ito (14.3 x 12.2 x 3.6 cm)

Without question his paintings have been influenced by Yusen.  Even the shapes of some of his pots have been influenced by Yusen.  As we compare the pots whose is more delicate? Or would you say they are quite similar?

Yusen

Yusen

Gekkou Ito (14.3 x 12.2 x 3.6 cm)

Gekkou Ito (14.3 x 12.2 x 3.6 cm)

We really appreciate it when a pot artist paints the top of the pot.  This could so easily be ignored or looked over.  To us it really makes the pot with that extra time and effort that is exerted to finish this work of art.

Gekkou Ito (12.8 x 5.5 cm)

Gekkou Ito (12.8 x 5.5 cm)

Gekkou Ito (12.8 x 5.5 cm)

Gekkou Ito (12.8 x 5.5 cm)

This bird, which we assume to be a phoenix, is a repetitive theme for Gekkou’s pots.  His use of color and intermixing this bird and flowers within the same color palette is well thought out and harmonizes quite well.

Gekkou Ito (8.8 x 8.3 cm)

Gekkou Ito (8.8 x 8.3 cm)

This is a beautifully done pot.  It appears not to have been used but without the ability to see the interior of the pot it is difficult to tell.

Gekkou Ito (10 x 7 cm)

Gekkou Ito (10 x 7 cm)

A very nice painting.  Notice how in many of these distant scenes there is a “v” shape of flying birds.

Gekkou Ito (10 x 7 cm)

Gekkou Ito (10 x 7 cm)

Gekkou Ito (10 x 7 cm)

Gekkou Ito (10 x 7 cm)

This last scene is perhaps our favorite out of the three paintings on this pot.  The distant mountains shrouded in clouds or morning fog, the temple set just off the shore, and many flying birds in the sky.

Gekkou Ito (12.7 x 11.2 x 4.5 cm)

Gekkou Ito (12.7 x 11.2 x 4.5 cm)

Reminiscent of the blue pot above, Gekkou intermixes flowers and a water scene.

Gekkou Ito (12.7 x 11.2 x 4.5 cm)

Gekkou Ito (12.7 x 11.2 x 4.5 cm)

Notice the similarity of the two individuals engaged in conversation in this painting.  This is very similar to Yusen’s couple who are conversing in his painting.  We also enjoy how he has painted the feet on this pot.  To have not done so would frankly cause the feet to be glaring to the eye.

Gekkou Artist Marks

Gekkou’s artist mark is easily identifiable. His pots can still be purchase and are available at www.y-bonsai.co.jp.

Gekkou Artist Mark

Gekkou Artist Mark

Gekkou Artist Mark

Gekkou Artist Mark

Gekkou Artist Mark

Gekkou Artist Mark

Gekkou Artist Mark

Gekkou Artist Mark

Gekkou Artist Mark

Gekkou Artist Mark

The last two marks are the ones we have seen most often.  Painted by hand and then covered with a see through protective glaze.

Gekkou Artist Mark

Gekkou Artist Mark

A less familiar mark and therefore why we have included it in today’s post.  Perhaps because this is an unglazed pot, but we are not quite sure.

Final Thoughts

Well four good friends (Boon, Peter, Jeff and Tyler) are in Japan as we write this post; yes we are a tad jealous but we will make the trip next year – God willing.  They are attending Kokufu and visiting several bonsai gardens a train ride away from Tokyo.

Peter and Jeff are being kind to us by taking photos at the Green Club as we are in search of a fine suiseki for KJ and for a very old and hopefully dirty white suiban for me.  Yes, it is living vicariously through their trip – sometimes that is almost as much fun!

Their hotel unfortunately has only Internet connectivity in the lobby of the hotel.  Peter has kindly agreed to shoot photos at the Green Club and then will walk to the Ueno train station so he can email us photos from the Starbucks situated inside of the station.  You know you have a good friend when they are willing to do this for you.

Also, Peter and Tyler are about to embark on a multi-year journey as apprentices in Japan.  We will post more on that once their apprenticeships have firm commitments.  We hope all of them have a wonderful time – happy hunting!

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