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Engobe Painting

Engobe Painting

Engobe or slip-glaze is diluted clay that can also be dyed. Decorations with engobe are applied on the leatherhard clay body (pot). Afterwards the pots are fired at 1220° C.


Knowledge about old pots and pottery techniques helps enormously to create a good bonsai pot. Thousands of potter generations have passed and still pottery is nearly the same as on the first day. You can hardly take over traditions unaltered but everybody can add suitable traditional aspects to his techniques. By studying old pots and pottery techniques I was enabled to use a lot of that for my work. Even the fact that success and failure belong together inseparably for all your life. And something else, the shapes of old Chinese bonsai pots are the antetypes for all successive shapes, Japanese and now western pots as well.


The special appeal of those old Chinese or Japanese pots is hard to define. It evokes diverse subjective emotions. The oldest pots may seem overdecorated and kitschy. They are however an expression of a sensual life close to nature. This is especially appealing to me. Those pots are evidence of a culture which knew how to relate itself to nature, to be an entity with it in daily, cultural and spiritual life.


If you look at such old pots you sense very strongly that even perfect things are ephemeral. Fissures, cracks and scaling, which are symbols of decay, add a beautiful patina and dignity to their aged appearance. This is inspiration from the past.




Replica of an ancient Chinese pot - No.065 - size: 37 cm x 22 cm x 13,5 cm










Replica of an ancient Chinese pot - No. 071 - size: 39 cm x 39 cm x 28 cm








Replica of an ancient Chinese pot - No. 102 - size: 33 cm diameter x 18 cm height













Replica of an ancient Chinese pot - No. 103 - size: 41 cm diameter x 19 cm height








Pot No. 079 - size: 25 cm x 25 cm x 18 cm









Pot No. 078 - size: 31 cm x 31 cm x 22 cm







Translation: Heike van Gunst