Introduction To Bonsai Pots
This book gives the reader an insight as to how bonsai pots are made.
Very little information on how to match a pot with a tree
This was a fun little book to read and a very informative one. I believe it to be the first of its kind. The author Cat Nelson goes into great detail in the first four chapters of her book explaining just about everything one would like to know regarding the creation of a bonsai pot. She explains the three major sources of bonsai pots, and gives a few comments on antique pots. Wheel-thrown, hand built, mold- formed, free- form, and carved pots each have a section explaining their creation.
There is a chapter on the different types of pots, such as Tokoname Pots, Mica Pots, Yixing Pots, Plastic Pots, Clay Pots, and Glazed Pots. In this chapter the types of Fired Pots are also discussed. The author explains what makes a high quality pot and how to determine one from a lesser quality, mass produced bonsai pot. She also speaks about the different clays used in bonsai pots and how a potter can produce signature glazes.
In a chapter on shapes and sizes, the author also provides the Japanese term for each style of pot shape. Features of bonsai pots such as sharp corner, round or smooth corner, no edge, inner edge, banded side, cloud feet, and thunder symbols, to name just a few are also described.
Chapter 5, Introduction to “Chops” I found to be quite interesting. “The biggest identifying feature on most bonsai pots is the so-called “chop mark” on the bottom. The author dispelled several myths regarding the chop mark and explained that the marks can have a meaning other than a signature or company name. Many of us pick up a bonsai pot and immediately turn it over to see if it has a chop mark. Now, after reading this chapter we can perhaps better understand them.
In a book with only 80 pages, the final chapter, Chop Mark Gallery reads from page 42 on, almost one half of the books. I found it to be too much for the average hobbyist. There are however some noteworthy items, namely the list of American potters and their seal or chop.
I would have liked to see more information on how to match a pot with a tree, or at least what the different styles of bonsai pots are generally used for. It was a quick inserting read and I would recommend it to the bonsai enthusiast of any level.
Jim received this book from ofBonsai Magazine as payment for this review.[/tab]