Suibans-Trays for Suiseki
I always have a number of Suibans in different styles and sizes.
I will show these as soon as I am able to do so.
These are in and out of stock all the time.
The ones below are just a few from our stock



Using a Suiban instead of a Daiza: I was trekking in Alaska a few years ago. I was with a guide and we were exploring some glacier lakes. I found this stone on a shore and asked if I could bring it home. As this was Inuit Land I was careful to respect that. The guide was happy to allow me this. She was fascinated by why and I explained that I was first attracted to the mix of quartz in the basalt matrix. However, when I looked at it it reminded me of an Inuit Woman in her sealskin parka. She immediately saw this and wryly commented that perhaps it would be better for non-carver local artists to just collect such unique figure stones rather than making them,. Nature was by far the best artist.

I have been intrigued by the art of First People Nations in North America for over 40 tears and the soapstone carvings that have evolved over the years I have been collecting. I love the stories, myths, legends and natural history of the arctic regions. Talking about this with someone living in this region of America and Canada was something that was very enlightening of course.

When I went through security at the airport coming back the mainly Inuit security staff questioned why I wanted what was quite a large rock on board. It could be a weapon,. I started taking about the figure in the stone and made many reference to first peoples clothing and soon had a keen audience of not only security staff but passengers. They all say what I was seeing and were, in turn, also fascinated.  When I arrived back in the UK I commissioned the wonderful potter an Barton, to create a Suiban with a glass glaze wo emulate a breaking ice pool and the woman about to fall in to the water. This is why I call this Suiseki, ‘OOPS’


 Notes on this Suiseki and its relevance to local culture in Alaska:

Wearing her sealskin coat, atkupiak or, amauti, the parka worn by Inuit women, the edges of her hood with a fur trim (naqyutkaun in Cup'ig) showing on her on parka hood is a feature of the the Canadian Inuit, and the Alaskan Iñupiat and Yup’ik who usually wear a parka style which has an attached hood with a fur ruff to protect the face. These hoods are usually trimmed with an Arctic fox tail, or a broad strip of wolf or wolverine fur. Men wear qulittuq (man's parka)

Formerly known as Eskimo the first peoples culture is now known as Inuit. The Inuit world is intercontinental. The over 155,000 persons who call themselves "Inuit" - their word for people - live in four circumpolar countries: Russia (Chukotka), USA (Alaska), Canada and Kalaallit Nunaat, the ancient and modern name for Greenland. Inuit means a member of the Eskimo peoples inhabiting northernmost North America from northern Alaska to eastern Canada and Greenland. the language of the Inuit, a member of the Eskimo-Aleut family comprising a variety of dialects.

Yup'ik clothing (Yup'ik aturaq sg aturak dual aturat pl, aklu, akluq, un’u ; also, piluguk in Unaliq-Pastuliq dialect, aklu, cangssagar, un’u in Nunivak dialect) refers to the traditional Eskimo style clothes worn by the Yup'ik people of southwestern Alaska. Also known as Cup'ik clothing for the Chevak Cup'ik dialect speaking Eskimos ofChevak and Cup'ig clothing for the Nunivak Cup'ig dialect speaking Eskimos of Nunivak Island. 

In the words of Inuit Elder, Mike Angutituak of Kangiqliniq (Rankin Inlet, Nunavut), "Our ancestors survived on the land and the sea, depending only on animals. It was not always easy for them, but they survived through many dangerous journeys and bitterly cold winters. They not only survived for themselves, they also survived for the future."

The McCord Museum in Montreal-Canada, is an outstanding source for information on Inuit Peoples.




Rare Japanese blue under glaze porcelain Suiban, 19th century £50 E65
  Width Length Height
inch   8  
cm   20  

Porcelain (Qinghua)

Double walled porcelain mesh design with a poem inscribed to the owner of the Pot (in Chinese)

Purchased in 1995 from a well known Bonsai Master in Texas. £325.E375
  Width Length Height




Japanese glazed Suiban dating from circa 1960
  Width Length Height
cm 32 43 3


A 20th Century Japanese stoneware studio pottery tray circa 1975, of rounded rectangular
form decorated in resist and dark brown lead glaze with a single stem of flowering plum.
The reverse bears an incised seal. While suitable for a tall slim mountain type Suiseki
this is an excellent accent for a Bonsai or scroll where a river image is desired.

Length 9 1/2" (24 cm). Width 6 3/4" (17 cm). £85/E100