JAPANESE BAMBOO BASKETS

Flower Basket  by Wada Waichisai III

Wada Waichisai III / 三代和田和一斎 

1899-1975

Flower Basket

40 x 20.7 x 20 cm 

15.7 x 8.2 x 7.9 in

Original box signed and sealed by the artist
Original lacquered water container
This basket is no longer available

This basket is made of an unusual, lively honey-colored smoked madake (known as susudake), the kind of bamboo that would have been recovered from the interiors of old farm houses. The deep rich color of high quality susudake favored especially by the early Kansai bamboo masters can take even 400 years to develop.

 

Working this material after it has aged for such periods presents special technical challenges and a level of skill rarely found today, when even the material alone is very difficult to find. In this case the bamboo has less age and lighter color, but a color so unusual that one wonders of the quality of the smoke. Could it be that it was taken from a structure in which a particular material was burned, a fine charcoal perhaps, or in any case something more specific than the range of hardwoods that would have fueled the hearth of a normal country home? 

 

Waichisai III would certainly have found such material attractive. This well-balanced, freely-woven basket is also of interest for its use of broad strips of bamboo taken from the base of the stalk. This is the denser section of the plant, nearly at ground level, from which runner roots emerge. Here the nubs of these nascent roots bring this basket an extra animistic energy. 

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