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Mother lode of pots

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Post  Zootenval Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:04 pm

Good Morning:

New to this forum, looks great! I acquired over 100 pots this weekend, including 19 from Max Braverman (Pine Mountain Pottery) and 6 beautiful mame cascade pots from Jim Barrett. I took a few photos of the's pretty impressive seeing them all hanging out together...

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Post  bumblebee Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:14 pm




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Post  Zootenval Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:37 pm

My sentiments exactly...I do not need 107 bonsai pots at this point, but I have a fair number of specimens currently growing in cheap plastic pots. I also have some others that I'm looking for just the right pot for. The price was right...I really couldn't pass them up.

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Post  Chris Cochrane Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:22 pm

Hi Zootenval... Max was a great guy & very generous on the early Internet Bonsai Club mail list. His ABS Journal writing with Kate was glorious in extending knowledge.

Perhaps, you are aware that someone stole all of Max's pots before he closed Pine Garden Pottery/Bonsai studio in Washington state, Subsequently, he left to teach (and visit kiln sites) in China... (& perhaps extending to Indonesia).

I received an unexpected message asking about Max several months ago & tried to help the fellow learn more. In subsequent private correspondence, it became obvious the fellow wanted to know much about Max but not reveal his own identity. Correspondence ended.

Max is an important potter even though he had to stop handbuilding due to back strain. He extended his throwing of pots by crafting a back brace, but even that became too much; he ultimately sold only molded pots. Still, his exceptional clay & glazes made owning even the molded pots by Max a privilege. Appreciate each of yours as a treasure.
Chris Cochrane
Chris Cochrane

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Post  Zootenval Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:43 pm

Hey Chris:

Thanks for the note. Looking at Max's works, I know they are something special. 3 of them are graced with his signature in the clay on the bottom. The others have the pottery stamp and pattern number? I feel very fortunate indeed to have come across this collection of pots, including Max's works. The person I acquired them from knew what he had. In spite of this he sold the lot to me for a very fair price, mainly because I think he sensed my motivations were pure and free of the money-changer mentality. I know he was offered a decent amount of $ for just one of Max's signed pots, but turned it down. If I ever decide to sell a pot or 2 from this collection, that will be the exception, rather than the rule. It is not why I bought them, nor is it the reason for anything else I collect.

Thanks again for the precious info you posted about Max. I'd love to learn more if you are willing, and I'll be happy to share my background.

Andy Tomlin

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Post  Robert J. Baran Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:04 am

Please see the entries for the 24th and 28th, , for more information about Max.


Robert J. Baran
Bonsai researcher and historian
Robert J. Baran
Robert J. Baran

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Post  Zootenval Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:21 am

Thanks so much for the information on Max. I will treasure each of these wonderful pots. It will be fun deciding which pot suits which tree.

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Post  Chris Cochrane Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:00 pm

Hi Andy... Do not tease about selling a signed pot by Max. I'd encourage you to donate one to the U.S. National Bonsai & Penjing Museum if you seriously would consider parting with it. Give me a head's up to assure the artifacts curator (Ked Dell) is prepared to receive it as an educational item. It is very possible that the Morikami Museum in your neck of the woods would be interested, as well.

Undoubtedly, you'll be inundated with requests. For collectors, Max's pots have "periods" when he lived in different locations. The few collectors are simply AVID... and sometimes creepily voracious.

I shared this in February with a fellow preparing a book on American shohin potters:
I simply loved Max. He had huge spirit. He cared deeply about others and about our world. He loved potting, history, truth... and appreciated nuances of value & loss. An IBC/rec.arts.bonsai post written March 6, 2002 shares most of what I know that Max would wish shared. If you’ve looked at Robert Baran’s Magical Miniature Landscapes website (including the ‘month of September’ Book of Days & Kyuzu Murata pages), you’ll know more. Brandywine Bonsai Society includes interesting chop photos & a history of Max on its website. Max’s articles with Kate in ABS Journal are terrific.

For Max’s words on the internet as well as words about Max on the early IBC, a search of his name on the rec.arts.bonsai listserv (maintained by googlegroups) returns 370 hits (!).

I’ve a self-rooted branch of rosemary in a pot crafted by Max. Like him, it is humble, unconventional & frail in its winter season. I wonder which parts of the plant will survive to thrive in spring.

2002 IBC post, Chris Cochrane...
… Congratulations on snagging a Max Braverman pot.

Now is probably as good as time as any to address establishing a history of
American bonsai potters & other Western potters-- I think the Europeans are
ahead of others on this curve. There are "periods" of Max Braverman pots;
who knows the changing marks? He created outstanding handbuilt pots, and
in his last years of potting mostly created molded slurry pots with great
clays and wonderful glazes because his back was in severe pain. He
jury-rigged a back brace to support himself while attempting a few last hand
built pots.

Max didn't begin in Washington state. Max taught school in the East when
the desire to build bonsai pots first struck him... & I think he moved to
the Southwest [note: Taos NM &, later, to Delaware] before moving to
Washington state. He travelled in China to visit early kiln sites and tried to
learn what was available on the qualities of ancient pots... mostly for the
sake of knowledge as he is a passionate man where knowledge is concerned.

When the IBC was in its infancy (reaching back to Mike Bartolone before
passing IBC webmaster duties to Dan Cwiertniewicz), Max was among the
internetters who attempted to gather regional data for posting to the list
so that folks beyond his area would be informed of activities. He attempted
recruiting others to post events for their regions of the country and
imagined network of reporters that would tie clubs to speakers and vendors.
At that point, many IBCers (including me) were on freenet or education
servers with only email access. I think the networking Max did by email
preceded Craig Hunt establishing the first really useful URL/hotlinks list
of bonsai sites across the internet. How far we have come...

Max posted and hosted the first suiseki collecting trip to which any
potential registrant was invited. He and Larry Ragle led a group to a river
near his Pine Garden Bonsai business-- and he offered the first suiseki for
sale on the internet.

Max's book reviews (in ABS Journal?) are entertaining and informed. He
suffers no fools and gives credit generously where due.

I know so very little... but Max's friends are many.

Has Robert Baran caught details re' Max in his chronicles? How about Sharon
Muth, Don Gould, Tom Demig (incl. Intl Symposium pots) et al.. BTW, the
International Symposium registrant's pot series was masterful; Bill
Valavanis enhanced our thinking about American potters by offering a small
and uniquely-identified pot to each registrant. Others have offered
convention-unique pots for sale in limited numbers... but I think the small
Demig pots set a mark for a functional pot done without great expense to
commemorate a bonsai moment.

Hope others will chime in and that perhaps someone will take the bull by the
horns and begin documenting the bonsai potter saga. The potters are a great
bunch of contributors to the bonsai community.
Chris Cochrane
Chris Cochrane

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Mother lode of pots Empty will you sell

Post  andre Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:17 am

hi do you have any of the pots that you will sell


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