This last weekend I looked through some pots to find something suitable for an english elm clump that I will be re-potting in the coming months. I ended up choosing two pots. Both pots had a number of similarities and I thought that a post comparing them might be interesting.

The two pots were made by Yamafusa and Ina Genzou.


Yamafusa Hanko (signature)

I really like Yamafusa pots, especially the green glazes. They have a great speckling and richness of colour that varies subtly across the pot.

Ina Genzou

Ina Genzou Hanko (Signature)

This is a Ina Genzou pot, I don’t know a lot about his work and is the only pot of his that I have. I like the pot but the finish in a few areas seems a little rough in contrast to other areas of the pot which are more visible and have a nicer finish.

Both pots were glazed green and both of round shapes, one is a circular shape and the other an oval.

The Yamafusa pot from above

The Genzou pot from beneath.

Comparing the glazes is interesting. I am always fascinated by the vast differences in similar glazes. Both pots are green, both have speckles in their glazes yet both are very different. If you look closely at both pots you can see the influence the different clay colours have in the zones where the glaze thins out.

The Yamafusa glaze

I find that Yamafusa’s green glazes really glow. When you look closely you can see that the colour changes depending on its thickness. At the top of the pot’s rim, hints of the clay beneath sneak through changing its tone.

Ina Genzou's glaze.

Ina Genzou’s glaze on the other hand is similar yet has some subtle differences. It seems to have a bit more milkiness to it. It has speckles yet they are smaller and the rim has beautiful drips. Somehow the colour seems slightly duller and more uniform. the colour of the clay where is can be seen through the glaze gives a very different colour change to that of the Yamafusa.

As you have seen from the previous photos these two pots at least on the surface seem very similar. What sets them apart for me is the smaller details. In fact detail is what really makes the difference for me when it comes to pots. In the next two photos I will look at one area of the pots. The drainage holes. Drainage holes are rarely seen when a bonsai is planted in a pot but when ever I purchase a pot I always try to look at the finish of these areas to determine quality. These details don’t necessarily mean it is a good pot or that it is a bad pot but I think that a pot that has well finished details will often set itself apart.

Yamafusa's Detail (drainage hole)

The Yamafusa pot’s drainage holes have been finished with a bevel both inside and out. This makes the holes look well finished and considered. It may seem a small touch but it is the details like this that really show that whom ever made the pot took the time to finish it to a high standard.

Ina Genzou detail (Drainage Hole)

The Genzou pot’s drainage holes are a little rougher. it appears as if they were punched or cut through the pot’s base and then not cleaned up or finished. I am sure they will drain and function just as well as the yamafusa pot but the visual appearance of them looks a less refined.

Does this make it a worse pot? Probably not. Both pots will work very well as bonsai containers. But should you have to choose between two similar pots a detail like this might be the deciding factor.

In the case  of the elm clump I think I will actually use the Genzou pot due to its added depth but that decision will have to wait for a few more weeks when I begin re-potting.

Both pots are from the cheaper end of the spectrum but both have some great qualities that could really add to the image of your bonsai.