A selection of beautiful bowls and antiques from a shop called Hotoke, located in Isumi, Japan. Their website yesterday offered a great amount of inspiration, particularly on the ceramic side of things, but I was also interested in the other objects that had cultural significance to the orients. This comes of great value to me after studying Soetsu Yanagi and reading the fantastic book that is ‘The Unknown Craftsman’, also getting more involved in the Mingei movement. It makes sense to respect these items for their longevity and character, also you have to admire the form in all of the pieces, they’re made exquisitely to stand the test of time.
Hotoke is quite a specialist location and is mainly for collectors or connoisseurs, not necessarily a theme I’m a admirer of as I don’t agree with singling out one particular ‘high end’ group, but to me this is more of a museum setting with the significane of each object being high. Their main speciality revolves around practical ceramics such as chawan and the other forms of tea ceremony ware, a lot of which you can see here with the tea caddy and various tea bowls. To be honest they’ve based the theme on the concept of “Wabi” or “Mingei”, that I touched on above. Wabi being things that are fresh and simple, denoting simplicity and quietude, also incorporating rustic beauty. Mingei meaning “folk arts” or “arts of the people”, so these two concepts merge nicely and lead to a stunning collection of goods.
Pointing out a few items that I’m personally fond of, one of the more unusual objects that is the ‘Fish Yokogi’ shown in the sixth image. It’s an antique wooden adjustable fish-shaped lock or pothook that can be used for cooking, it would allow the pot or kettle to be raised or lowered into a traditional sunken hearth. I love the carving on it and the well-used look, it gives it a unique character and quirkiness. I’m also a massive admirer of the bowl above, it features beautiful graining and a wonderful form, you could also say the same about the ‘White Bowl of Choson’ in the third image down. This is an antique Korean white porcelain bowl with kintsugi, the art of fixing broken pottery with a lacquer resin sprinkled with powdered gold. I’ve never heard of this before but the technique apparently dates back to the late 15th century and stems from the Japanese craftsmen looking for a more aesthetical means of repair. Maybe one day soon I’ll write about this more in-depth, for now I’ll trust you’ll visit Hotoke and check out what they have to offer. You’re sure to get inspired.