Bryan 's Approach

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Having seen at first hand old Chinese and Japanese pots I can appreciate the beauty that only time can bring to a pot. The surface of an unglazed pot improves and changes with age and careful maintenance, and the glazed pot undergoes many changes with time. Sometimes the action of
water and fertilizer can dramatically change the glaze as can be seen in the old green copper glazed Chinese pots, where the chemical structure of the glaze changes to produce an almost milky green colour.
The Japanese seem to have an in built way of looking at a new pot and being able ot see how it will look in twenty years. So buying a new looking pot does not matter. You just have to be patient. Often when one buys a new tea bowl in Japan there is and old one on the counter to show how it will age.
I also found a desire amongst the Japanese to spend time to look in great detail at the features of a pot, subleties of the form and glaze. I have never found this awareness in the West except amongst connoisseurs of ceramics.
I think it is the same with bonsai and it is what makes the difference between bonsai in the East and bonsai in the West.