Last night, in the midst of a heat wave, our neighborhood was hit with “all the things” as my daughter put it. 95 degrees, high winds, rain, dime-sized hail, sultry sunshine, all with a rainbow in the Southeast sky. We had numerous trees down, including two blocking the entrance to our neighborhood, and several others that knocked out power to parts of our area. We were spared, but still suffered a little tree damage. Koyo fans, avert your eyes.

The next morning, I brought it in to replace the pot. Bear in mind, here is our forecast.

I removed the pot, incidentally, the first Koyo pot I bought, first nice shohin pot, and the first pot I bought from Ryan Bell the first time I met the man back around 2011. not to mention, I really liked the pot.

Clearly no way of repairing the pot, I will keep the big pieces and try to think of something clever to make from it one day. For now, on to new pots. I tried this Bunzan pot, a Tofukuji tribute.

It was slightly too small, and I wanted to give it plenty of opportunity to survive in the heat wave, so into another Koyo it goes.

And the money shot…


First Reiho pot

Recently, I purchased my first pot by Reiho, a 4th generation tokoname potter. Here is a little more information about him:

Jonas shared photos of his visit here: https://bonsaitonight.com/2017/05/16/visiting-tokoname/

From http://tokonamebonsaipots.com/pdf/01_catalog2020_reiho.pdf. Reiho is Katsushi Katoaka, 4th generation of the kiln named Seizan Toen, which was founded in 1889.

Reiho pots are known for classic but bold shapes, crisp lines, and bright glazes in a limited but recognizable color pallet. This pot is a very good example. While the catalog lists this color as oribe, it is closer to a robin’s egg blue.

Here are a few shots of the Reiho pot I recently added to my collection:

This is a good and usable size, at nearly 19” wide and 4.5” deep. The front foot positioning and bag shape require the right tree, but a couple considerations include this Japanese maple:

And it’s particularly nice with this Stewartia:

It’s always good to have extra options as repotting season quickly approaches.

Pot pairing and winter colors of Itoigawa

I’m always fascinated with the winter colors junipers take on. The RMJ turns blue, and the Itoigawa turns very bronze; even more than standard Shimpaku. The Kiyozuru changes the least.

Itoigawa winter bronze
Compare a winter shot to a summer shot.

Shimpaku changes a bit less:

This Kiyozuru is from Southern California, so it make take a few more years to settle in to this environment, but so far it hasn’t taken much winter color.

I have been on the search for the perfect pot for the itoigawa. While the Sara Rayner pot has been a very good fit, I am looking for something a bit more refined. In my mind, it’s an old red/brown bag-shaped oval. For some reason, the right one hasn’t appeared yet.

Meanwhile, I have a few choices to consider to buy more time to hunt.

Left to right:

1. Cheap Chinese bag-shaped oval. The shape is good, but it is a bit large, and the light clay doesn’t work.

2. Rectangle Tokoname. Good size and clay color. Better quality than the oval, but the shape is more for a masculine pine.

3. Indented corners rectangle, Yamaaki. Better quality, very close to the clay color I envision. It is slightly too large for the tree. If air was trying to strengthen the tree, it would be a good option to allow it to grow strong for a few years.

4. Deep rectangle: good depth, but too narrow and the clay color, again, is too light. This tree was paired with this pot 8-9 years ago and it worked when the tree was smaller and narrower. It has since outgrown this one.

With over a month to go until repotting season, the right pot may still show up, or maybe it gets to sit in the present pot another year. What do you think?