I recently came into possession of a nice Japanese water pool stone. From the estate of Phyllis Wishnick, this stone was acquired by her in Japan many years ago. I have been itching to see it displayed in a suiban; the stone currently doesn't have a daiza or a box.
I chose this suiban from my collection. Although a bit shallower than I would have liked for this stone, it is still a nice match. I have been looking forward to taking the time to put them together.
I acquired this suiban in 2012 from Mr. Eiji Horie of Sendai, Japan. He is the director of Tohoku Suiseki association, and he holds numerous exhibition in Miyagi and other Tohoku area. Mr. Horie mounted an exhibition of Suiseki in New York City; an amazing show of resilience after the devastating tsunami in his area of Japan. I was able to purchase a number of stones (collected personally by Mr. Horie) as well as scrolls painted by him.
This suiban is by Reiho Shouzan of tokoname.
The stone was acquired by Phyllis from Japan many years ago. It is a nice, unaltered stone with a nice darker gray color. The shape is excellent with good proportions and a nice deep pool. Ringed along one side are raised areas suggesting mountains at a distance.
I assembled the tools I needed to set the stone in the suiban. A copper scoop for adding small amounts of sand. Two japanese trowels and a nylon brush for smoothing the sand.
I poured sand directly into the suiban, smoothed it out roughly and set the stone to begin. At this stage I'm trying to find a good spot left-to-tight and front-to-back in the suiban. Once I think I've found that, I adjust the angle of the stone to present the "mountains" in the back and let us see into the pool from the proper viewing angle. We can see here that the suiban is a little too shallow for this stone. A deeper suiban would allow more of the stone to be buried and give a more stable, grounded, feeling. But the size and shape work better than anything else available.
Next I add sand and smooth it out evenly across the surface. Finally, I spray the sand and the stone with water, partially filling the pool and thoroughly wetting the stone.
I'm happy with how this looks and am enjoying seeing the stone on display. I will explore a rectangular bronze suiban that's deeper; but its strength and detailed decoration will probably not work as well as this.
Small deeper suiban will be high on my shopping list in Japan this February. Be sure to contact me if you'd like me to look for items like this for your collection.