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2005 Newsletter Archive
The Final Newsletter



                   Written by Robert Yellin

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DATE:     December 8, 2005
TOPIC:   The Final Newsletter

Greetings to all from Mishima,

It's been ages since I have sat down to write to all about yakimono, and for that I offer a sincere apology. I do believe I owe all an explanation for such a long silence.

When started back in 2000, I had envisioned writing a monthly or thereabouts newsletter and for a while that is how it went. Part of our mission in the beginning -- and to an extent continuing today -- was to disseminate information about this extraordinary clay world here and I do believe we've achieved much in that realm. Now is the most comprehensive site of its kind and has, I hope, been of value to those with an interest in Japanese yakimono. It's been a labor of love and all at my expense, which has turned out to be quite a handsome sum.

With the growing interest in this field, so grew the interest in acquiring works by overseas collectors and thus our worldwide clientele for has also grown. One major time-consuming task is the sourcing of good works to offer, and thus my days are left with less time for writing. Many think that it's easy to find good work here -- and in a sense it is -- yet one does have to look through loads of mediocre pieces and then there's always the price factor. If I look at two hundred works and find one to offer it's been a good day. With that all and answering all kinds of emails, my desire to write has almost been extinguished. I apologize for that.

The good news is I hope to create a simple blog where I can just whip up this and that in a paragraph or two to let folks know about interesting exhibitions or news flashes. I also send out exhibition previews and assorted news items periodically to those who have signed our Web Gallery guest book:

A few short bits of recent news include Bizen's Mori Togaku being given a Special Award by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs. A story in Japanese can be read on the web site:

More about Mori here:

Up in Tokyo the other day, I attempted to take photos of Kakurezaki Ryuichi's chawan exhibition yet was prohibited by the Mitsukoshi staff. I'll try again on Saturday when Kakurezaki will be there and gives me the a-ok. His chawan -- all 23 of them -- were brilliant in form and firing. They sold out on the first day as about 70 collectors converged on the gallery and to limit the mayhem lots were drawn. In order of drawing the first person got first choice and so on. I hope to have photos to show -- after my second attempt -- sometime next week.

Living National Treasure Yamada Jozan III passed away just last month; he was 81. Yamada was recognized for his artistry in creating fine sencha teapots called kyusu. A look at some of his work can be seen on this Japanese page:

An interview in English with his son Emu, and future Jozan IV, is here:

Just yesterday I uploaded this Emu piece on our web gallery:

An exhibition I'd love to see is in Boston now at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. If you're in the area do have a look and maybe even send over a review for I heard a fine catalog is also available at:

Next spring, also in the Boston area, will be a five-person exhibition featuring the works of Bizen LNT Isezaki Jun, his son Koichiro, former apprentice Kakurezaki Ryuichi and US-based/Japan-influenced ceramic artists Jeff Shapiro ( and Tim Rowan ( It will be held at the LaCoste Gallery. Their site can be found at

Other Good US Potters Web Sites
Peter Callas:
Dick Lehman:
Richard Milgrim, based in both the US and Japan:

And with that, I bid this newsletter "sayonara" and send my sincere thanks to all for your interest and support these past five years.

Warm Regards,
Robert Yellin


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