Onda Pottery

The Pucker Gallery in Boston has an exhibition of Onda pottery on view. I got the catalogue in the mail the other day but you can view it online here. The intro to the catologue by Andrew L. Maske is very informative. Onda ware production was begun in Oita prefecture in 1705. Methods of production and decoration were limited to certain techinques that continue until this day. Unlike other pottery villages in Japan the region has been able to retain most of the aspects of it's ceramic heritage. Only one son per potting household is allowed to carry on the tradition and no potters are allowed to move in from anywhere else.

I really love the shapes and decorative techiniques of Onda ware. The somewhat haphazard splashing of glaze is very nice. At first it seems a little off and sloppy, but after seeing it over and over on the pots I can see it must take skill and technique to apply in that manner. The application of white slip that is often finger wiped, combed or chattered is also wonderful. This, combined with the splashed glaze is a great contrast. I can see influence of this work in some contempory potters work, many of them coming from the Michael Cardew lineage. Bernard Leach had an impression on Onda ware, when he visited in 1954 he showed his method of pullling handles on pitchers. This is evident in the images of pitchers in the catalogue.