Bonsai fashion shifts from time to time. Sometimes it changes due to new taste and influences by leading artists. Some time out of need. The later is the case with coloured pots for shohin-bonsai. Shohin-bonsai has been developed the past 40 to 50 years in Japan, and now some trees are outgrowing their containers. This affects the availability to use old pots with patina and age visible, suiting aged trees. Therefore newly produced pots have to be used out of necessity.
These newly produced pots have stronger colours than older pots exposed to sun and rain over some years. Therefore they are much shinier and colourful than aged pots. Out of this has come a fashion in the shohin-bonsai world, because people actually started to like the more expressive colours in the displays. Pots with stronger colours are therefore available too today.
Yellow, red and purple pots with stronger fresh colours are used in the displays, and will be even more in future. Out of need of trees growing to big for their containers, and due to shifting taste. The old patina aged pots will surely not be forgotten, but still used aside new pots. But more colourful displays with shohin is surely to be seen much more. This makes it easier for us westerners with a short bonsai history still lacking antique or just aged pots with patina.
These pots with stronger colours are used for deciduous trees with or without flowers or fruits, with a lighter appearance than than conifers.
Recently I bought two new pots with colours for shohin. First shown below is the 30 year anniversary pot by Walsall Studio Ceramics, made to celebrate the Danish Bonsai Society. Next a Tokay-Koyo pot and a yellow pot shown at an earlier post too, made by Kouyou.
Walsall Studio Ceramics, UK.
Landscape and patterns
Finally another pot fashion on its way in Japan. Pots with landscapes or other drawing and patterns, are highly on their way on to the shohin scene. Below an example send to me very kindly by Mark Cooper from the UK. Mark is a leading shohin-bonsai artist, gaining several prizes together with his wife Rita, that also have a great interest in pots for shohin.
Dan Barton, UK. Photo: Mark Cooper/Dan Barton.