collection with the name “Bizan”
(1) Shimizu Bizan akae gold, sake cup with Japanese characters “fuku roku ju”
On the surface of the cup, patterns with the wishes of “happiness” and “longevity” are drawn. The three Kanji characters, the “crane” inside, and the outer “kikkomon” (tortoiseshell pattern).
(2) Shimizu Bizan, brocade basket typed bowl with bamboo
By drawing only a bamboo pattern in black and gold, it creates a gorgeous and calm atmosphere and has an excellent design (small bowl with handle).
(3) Shimizu Bizan, convex gold decorative plate with cherry blossom viewing
On the surface of the plate, only the appearance of people enjoying cherry blossom viewing at the waterside is elaborately drawn.
Shimizu Bizan 1861-1931
Shimizu Bizan was born as the eldest son of the samurai hired by Kanazawa annex of Honganji (big temple in Kyoto). He studied Japanese painting from Naoe Ryoshu and Iwai Takatsugui and porcelain painting from Kasama Shuseki (already explained in this site). In 1880, he learned the paining technique of Satsuma-yaki about the overcoating of gold from Okamura Chuhei in Tokyo. The following year, he started the painting business in Kanazawa. From the achievements that he created various techniques and style of porcelain painting, he was called a master craftsman of Kanazawa kutani.
In 1885, in cooperation with Matsuoka Hatsuji, he created a technique to express like an inlay pattern, using unique alloy for porcelain painting (a silver and copper alloy, one of the ancient Japanese colored gold used in metal crafts). He had the opportunity to form one of the distinctive features of Kanazawa kutani, using the alloy-based painting.
Among the designs created by Bizan, “Peony and Peacock” became very popular since about 1907. It was said that Bizan’s most elaborate and precise technique of gold-convex painting based on its high level of skill was quite difficult. The technique consisted of painting on the body molded by a potter’s wheel, baking it, and repeating that process several times, then shaping each convex pattern, and painting each pattern over with gold. This style of painting became one of the representatives of “Japan kutani” which had a worldwide boom during the Meiji period.