Stones from the American Midwest

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Stones from the American Midwest

Post  Norma on Sat Jan 10, 2009 9:35 pm

Sounds a little like a book title doesn't it ? But it was a challenge to do something with all the piles of collected rocks in my garden. My muse was Jim Greaves and his wonderfully eclectic display of "American Viewing Stones". While thumbing through his new book I kept saying "Hey, I have something like that!" and I had the stones but they needed to be displayed. Daiza are expensive and take a long time to produce so I have been searching for alternative ways to display. Doban, suiban, boards, bonsai pots, ikebana planters and so on !

Right now my goal is to work on the stones I've collected from Minnesota, South Dakota and Arkansas. And Chris , you'll be happy to learn that I'm now a "convert" NO more cutting!! That's why many of the stones need deeper suiban which becomes very difficult to find but I'm enjoying the challenge.

The 3 stones I'm showing today all needed deeper pots:

First: The mt. stone from Lake Superior with Japanese doban.
Second: A figure stone which I call "The Ancient" from a stream flowing off the Quachita Mts. in Arkansas with doban.
Third: Another figure stone "The Monk" displayed in vintage Sara Rayner pot. (sorry need to look for file...will post later)

Comments...please ....

Norma





Last edited by Norma on Sat Jan 10, 2009 9:48 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Lost file)

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Re: Stones from the American Midwest

Post  Norma on Sat Jan 10, 2009 9:52 pm

"The Monk"....found on the Temperance River, Minnesota.




Last edited by Norma on Sat Jan 10, 2009 9:56 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Added info)

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Re: Stones from the American Midwest

Post  Jeremy on Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:50 pm

Hi Norma,
Thank you for posting. What excellent pictures.
I very much like the "The mt. stone from Lake Superior with Japanese doban." A display to be much appreciated.
IMHO, the stone seems to sit a little high on the right side.
Both dobans appear to be very full of sand. A little too full perhaps. I expect this is to allow enough depth for the uncut stone to sit correctly.
Finding suibans / dobans to suit a stone is so hard. You have a great head start with both of yours.

I like the Monk, but find the pot heavy for the stone and a distraction from the elegent somber image.
Is the sand you used with the monk darker than the sand used in the dobans? To my eye it looks a good colour, not so light, a much more neutral colour that does not draw the eye quite so much.

Having nitpicked Embarassed , I appreciate each stone and it's presentation. Your stones show great presents. Thank you again.
best regards,
jerry

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Re: Stones from the American Midwest

Post  Norma on Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:28 pm

Thanks Jerry...this is the kind of discussion I missed since the forum went down.

The mountain stone, which I have also thought fit the island category, does have this right side problem of standing too high. As an island stone it could be a more natural physical occurrence and what you don't see on the photo are it's many cove-like features on the left side and back.

The sand does appear to be a bit too high but I felt there was enough doban lip to give framing to the sand.....I'll redo this stone with the sand a bit lower and try to reposition for less drop-off. I now have another stone displayed in this doban....a plateau (Doha-ishi) which I collected in Minnesota. (photo 1#)

The "monk" figure stone was put in this pot because of the "nail" image. The sand is a very dark color collected from beaches near coal refining plants on Lake Superior. The whole dark heavy look was what I wanted and had at first named this "Monk of Inquisition" with a darker photo taken. (photo 2#)

Norma


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Re: Stones from the American Midwest

Post  irene_b on Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:12 am

I think each pot is a perfect choice as well as the level of the sand.
Where do you get pots like that?
Irene

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Re: Stones from the American Midwest

Post  Norma on Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:08 am

Hi Irene,

I think you asked a very good question....a question I ask potters. Where do I get a suiban that is deeper than the usual -1 inch ?? We need to convince potters of the need for a 2-3 inch depth with straight sides preferably dark for uncut stones.

That having been said I went in search of such pots .....the doban is metal (usually bronze) and very hard to find. When I first started a search, Google told me that "Doban is 1 hour south of Dublin" plus many good people with this last name. The key is to use the word suiban or ikebana planter....several antique stores have bronze suiban but they are very expensive. Ebay is where I found my 3 doban and they were not easy to win. Darn.. now I just upped the competition. I've also purchased 2 ikebana planters on ebay.....these should be interesting for display but not traditional.

OK ...this will be our secret Wink

Norma

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Re: Stones from the American Midwest

Post  Chris Cochrane on Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:48 am

Hi Norma... Your stone & seating titled "The Ancient" is very appealing-- well-balanced & unexpected in the positive sense of extending expression. It is neither traditional nor contrived. There is elegance and assurance by you in matching the finely crafted, light legged doban (placing center-foot forward) with a rock that is dynamic in surface texture while plain in silhouette & color. “The Ancient” touches me with taste for noble bearing arising from unpretentious form. It causes me to feel its presence.

That this combination is to your taste and mine doesn’t make “right” or “elevated” to every viewer. Its beauty doesn’t rest on matching traditional categories or commanding attention.

You write,
> Ebay is where I found my 3 doban and they were not easy to win.
While losing can seem catastrophic ("It's mine tee,hee, hee... <gulp>... drats!... SNIPED!!!), I wonder about "not easy to win."

> We need to convince potters of the need for a 2-3 inch depth with straight sides preferably dark for uncut stones.
Exclusively dark and straight-sided? The color will be different from the ubiquitous "off-white" while the contour will reflect the common, though not exclusive, straight-sided. What is gained by choice of dark, straight-sides for deep suiban?

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Re: Stones from the American Midwest

Post  Alan Walker on Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:40 am

Most of the doban I've come across have been less than one inch deep. 2"-3" sounds pretty deep unless it's a very large doban. It seems to me that it would be hard to have a doban that deep which did not visually distract from the stone it holds, regardless of its color.

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Re: Stones from the American Midwest

Post  Norma on Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:09 pm

Hi Alan,
You're correct... there are very few deep 1 1/2 to 3 inch depth suiban . The doban is an alternative such as the two I showed below which for the larger is 2 1/2 and the smaller which holds the "Ancient" 1 1/2. In correspondence with Jim Greaves about the deep ceramic suiban used in his book, he stated that these were ikebana planters from the 60's and 70's but difficult to find now. I've talked to my friend Sara Rayner about this problem and she is firing new suiban that will be over 1 inch; however she sees little interest from stone collectors when she sells at shows.

As a "field" stone collector, many worthy stones could be displayed without the need for cutting. Yes, we can just pick up stones that are only flat but it's almost an impossible mission. Perhaps our perception of classical stones must change to include the "spirit of the stone" and thus , it's appreciation.

Norma

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Re: Stones from the American Midwest

Post  Norma on Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:47 pm

Hi Chris,

I'm delighted you saw the "Ancient" stone as I intended but it also has another "ghost" in the beard: so it should appropriately be called the "Ancients" and seen in person because of the depth of it's texture. This doban is very Chinese and has a dark patina that is not seen in the close photo.

Without giving away my whole eBay strategy , I do know the approximate value of the item and I DON'T SNIPE....but I wait until the last 2 minutes of an auction before bidding and I look for misspellings such as (suibon) or strange descriptions as (jardiniere). This is why I said "not easy wins" AND have lost many.... Sad

The color of the suiban only reflects my preference but I recently purchased an ikebana planter that is a rich caramel color. It is 2' deep and looks very good with a mountain stone I collected in northern Minnesota which is rich in a variety of jasper colors. I'll have it photographed soon.

Norma

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Re: Stones from the American Midwest

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