“To each his own” While a few collectors find themselves ambivalent on the subject, I have had a decades-long love affair with bamboo ferrules (as long as the work is excellent). Be the application slender and gracile (Davidson, Satou), or massive and monolithic (the Buddha belly used by Kovalev and Maenz), I feel that top-notch bamboo work can impart an amazing range of nuance; a spice which changes subtly, depending on the base form of the briar. The above “Ode to the Bambuseae
” didn’t mention the work that bridges the gap between the slender and massive. It wasn’t an oversight, it’s just that most examples I’ve seen (the occasional Fukuda Ikebana aside) leave me with the impression that a given carver found a bit of bamboo and tried to make it work, which runs about as counter to the spirit of the material as one can get. In this Ray Kurusu bamboo Dublin, (Yeah, you’re way ahead of me), we get to see how well medium-thick bamboo can work within a classic form, when employed by someone who not only has a superb affinity for the material, but an understanding of when it’s appropriate to put it into play.
I’m converted on the medium issue, at least as we see it presented here by Tokutomi’s prodigy. As immaculately shaped and wonderfully grained as the bowl appears in the photos, the impact seems almost two-fold, as it reclines on a pad six inches in front of me. I started to ask you to take a look at the ferrule, and the near miraculous manner in which Ray was able to integrate a subtly bucolic, almost Shinto element within the modernity of the bowl and bit, but I suspect that you already have. “Elevation, enhancement and cohesion, through opposition of elements” is an incredibly convoluted way to explain a simple concept – I don’t think there is one word/short phrase in English that communicates the entirety of such a state, but the Japanese have one: Chōdonode (Just so).
--R. 'Bear' Graves