To Patina or Not Patina...

Discussion in 'Pots' started by thams, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. thams

    thams Chumono

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    So I've been on a bender collecting pottery recently. Many of them I would consider collector's pots...BUT! I firmly believe that pots are made to be used. Some may be more difficult to use than others, but I think there's a tree out there for every pot (call me a romantic...).

    There are 3 metallic Roy pots that I picked up that I posted in another thread. I'm wondering how people feel about letting them patina. While patina usually increases the character of pottery, I'm afraid it will actually reduce the character of the pots in this case. Either way they could (and in my opinion, should) be used in a show by slip potting trees into them for a few days and then returning them to the display shelves after the show. I'm just curious what others think. I'm truly on the fence about letting them age.

    Here are the pots.
    IMG_6107.JPG
     
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  3. sorce

    sorce Nonsense Rascal

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    Use em!

    If they end up looking twice as dope.....

    Sorce
     
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  4. just.wing.it

    just.wing.it Masterpiece

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    Those are very interesting looking pots...
    Pretty cool!
    I'm not a stickler for "pot rules", so I'd use em asap!
    Might as well.
     
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  5. Anthony

    Anthony Masterpiece

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    If some one looks at your trees / efforts and says nice pot :eek::eek::eek::eek:

    Patina is more than fungal growth on a pot in use.

    Curio cabinet if they are very special, one drop, one chip is sure to kill.

    A very expensive Yi Xing was ordered to house the tamarind from seedling [ 35 + years ] and chipped on
    an end in the shipping. even the patch and repayment did not make up for the visual damage.

    The top dark one, looks more like something for an ornament.
    Good Day
    Anthony
     
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  6. BrianBay9

    BrianBay9 Shohin

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    I would use them.
     
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  7. Starfox

    Starfox Omono

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    It's a tough call really, while I do agree that a pot is something that should be used I would be asking the same question as you especially with these pots as they are way cool. It's one of those things where yeah I would use them but I probably don't really want to.
    Have you any ideas about pairing trees with them?
    Maybe knowing what might and might not work would help you with making the decision.
     
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  8. Dav4

    Dav4 Imperial Masterpiece

    There isn't a pot in my collection that is too good/too special to be used. If it's got drain holes in the bottom, it was meant to be planted, and in my opinion, age and use always improves on the "brand new" look. That being said, I wonder what one would put in pots with glazes like these. I could see a deciduous tree with heavy/warty bark in the roughly textured rectangle... the others, perhaps something flowering. I think you'll have fun figuring out what works and what doesn't.
     
  9. Bonsai Nut

    Bonsai Nut Administrator

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    I think your question is actually two questions in one:

    (1) Are these good pots for bonsai?
    (2) Should I allow them to gather patina?

    I think these are striking pots, but there isn't a tree in my collection that could go into one of these pots. I am not sure what tree could. I am not trying to criticize the pots as much as question their appropriateness for bonsai.

    The idea of patina is specifically tied into the idea of Wabi-sabi and Japanese artistic expression:

    Wabi-sabi (侘寂) represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete". If an object can bring about, within us, a sense of serene melancholy and a spiritual longing, then that object could be said to be wabi-sabi.

    So patina on an old pot (or viewing stone) is an expression of age that cannot be artificially created. It occurs naturally through handling and use over years and years. Putting an old tree in a flashy new pot would be a harsh contrast that would conflict with the impression you are trying to create with bonsai. Because of the flashy metallic glaze on those pots, I'm not sure you will ever be able to tone them down enough.
     
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  10. thams

    thams Chumono

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    You're right - there were really two questions in the post. What I really meant to say is that I WOULD like to use them if at all possible (probably for short periods during a show). However, I was unsure whether I should let them patina and then use them or just use them in pristine condition.

    For the record, I have no clue what I would put in them. I know there gotta be some species out there that could work. Like @Dav4 mentioned, perhaps something flowering or fruiting with a heavy, warty, gnarled bark. The top, darker pot would probably be easiest (IMO) to use. I think it would have to be part of a multi-tree shohin display with many other bold pots/colors.

    For now they're beautiful to look at on the shelf. But, I think it would be a shame to not use them at some point. Whether they are suitable for bonsai...well, I'm not touching that one! :p I think yes, but I very much respect others' opinions if they disagree.
     
  11. BrianBay9

    BrianBay9 Shohin

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    What tree would "fit"? I can't say I'm particularly skilled at matching tree to pot in the traditional sense, but these throw all that out the window. Very freeing, not having any worry about missing a traditional match. The middle pot reminds me of coral. I'd try it with a buttonwood with lots of deadwood, or maybe a mangrove.
     
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  12. thams

    thams Chumono

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    The darker mokko might be cool with a really beefy Silverberry with plated bark and blush colored fruit.

    Perhaps a nice squat winterberry or something of that sort would work well with the others. The tree would need some really interesting details to not become secondary to the pot. Likely I'll have years to think about it since it'll be that long before I can either acquire or develop the appropriate material. I like the buttonwood idea though - the gold ones do sort of remind me of the beach and sand.
     

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