This is not an easy shape to classify or pigeonhole. The basic layout of planes and grain allow it to technically fall into Elephant's Foot territory, but really there's elements of other artisanal freehand shapes in there as well: the Ballerina, the Vase, Takeo's own Speeding Sitter, and the beautifully framed, softly rounded forward face of Bo Nordh's Sphinx can all be found in here. This is, to say the least, one complex design, even by Japanese freehand standards. It also happens to be gorgeous - not an easy thing to pull off with so much going on, and therefore with so many active elements where something could have gone wrong. They don't, though, and the result is design that flows beautifully both along the vertical and the horizontal, with the latter, made up of the gesture of stem, shank, transition, and the underlying form of the bowl, all sweeping and rolling through the vertical elements of pedestal, flank panels, and rim in a harmonious manner. And all of it thoroughly packed with beautiful grain, brought out by an exquisite contrast stain.
- Eric N. Squires