While some Volcanoes feature large, even bulky proportions, Ichi Kitahara has a way of bringing a certain balance and elegance to the shape. The backward cant of the bowl guides the eye up along the gentle bend of the dark bamboo shank to the subtle downturn of the vulcanite stem. It is presented here in a high contrast walnut stain with red undertones that highlight this briar’s remarkable flame grain engulfing the flanks and plethora of birdseye along the underside and rim. The result is an extraordinarily balanced Japanese composition with a warm aesthetic – sure to conjure up images of exotic, faraway lands as you sip smoke from the smoldering leaf within.
- Andrew Wike