Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Diamond in the Rough

Some of you who are of the more traditionalist vein may not really appreciate a bonsai container with such overt expressionism.  I can understand that. However, every now and then I like to experiment outside of normal boundaries and create something more original. Something that challenges the status quo design ideals in the realm of contemporary Japanese inspired aesthetics. Here is a pot that takes a step, if a bit bold, into that direction.

 This primitive hand formed rectangle features a very dark patina and craggy texture.  When I created the pot, my plan was to make something that beholds a bit of rawness. There is unhindered movement in this soft rectangle. The movement speaks of freedom bound by nature. It makes me think of the El Greco painting, View of Toledo. In that composition a beautiful yet mysterious use color in the green and grey clouds envelope the composition, lending to its sense of foreboding.  One of my favorite paintings as an undergrad, and I am still today enamored by its overt display of mood.

With this pot, I decided to push the envelope with folds in the clay, almost like what we see in a gnarled trunk. The use of line in the lip gives it movement and playfulness, yet its dark color lends a sense of depth. There is plenty of texture throughout the surface of the pot. To enhance its character of style, I used a bit of boldness with the streaks of line, akin to a painter's impasto brushstroke.

I will miss this guy, as it portrays one my most creative endeavors in ceramics yet.  I realize that it represents an acquired taste, but thats fine too.  What will be interesting to see is how the bonsai artist uses this pot to his advantage. Time will tell, but I have a feeling it will be a good one. The current owner is quite talented!

Here is a shot of the other side. I would love to know what you all out there in the blogosphere think of it. Any comments?


  1. I love the pot Rob

  2. I love the folds in the walls. I'm enthralled with the completely different set of aesthetics that govern specimen planters.

  3. Love this pot! Great Work!
    A special pot indeed, requiring a special tree...

  4. Very nice pot! I love the organic nature of it, I think it would go well with the tree.
    If you like more "crunchy" and earthy pots, check out Kitoi's site :


  5. Hey Rob,
    I got here from a link on Iowa BS website while searching for American potters. Having found a couple others, who do beautiful work. I was actually continuing to search for more traditional pots. Of which, yours are great composition compliments. That said, if you put more of these interesting little pots (above) in your kiln, which it seems is what Americans are seeking, EVERYONE will have reason to seek your work. I would love to see more of these from you, as it is nice to see "both styles", or just "more possibilities", from one source. Either way, when spring rolls around, I intend (finances) to finally put one or more of my trees in a pot. Guess who I'm contacting?
    Till then,
    Fire away.


Thanks for taking the time to comment!
-Rob Addonizio

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