more potters, more pots

So that's all pottery village/towns I visited during the trip. It was really great to see the geographic features, talk with the local people and learn the history behind their making. And of course there are a lot of ceramicists in these areas too. Some work in the context of the local pottery and some work with their own preferences in styles, techniques and materials. Here are a few of those I met.
First, Ao san, Mr Yoshimura in Hasami. He has his own company producing tableware and himself is a maker and designer too. He throws on the wheel and the design he thinks good goes to batch production. I was so happy to know that Mt Fuji sake cup that I had my eyes on in Nishiki market Kyoto has been made here. The bowl in the picture was made with porcelain clay mixed with old fired porcelain bits from the aged kilns in the town. You can't really see it in the picture but it gives lovely texture to the surface. If you imagine the tiny bits can be from 400 years ago...!? Very romantic. He took me in his business meeting (somehow!) and gave me a great opportunity to have insight to Hasami.
Norio Nakagawa in Hasami. In Nakao mountain he makes slipware while the people around working in porcelain! He was trained in Mashiko, Tochigi which is another pottery town that has a strong connection with the folk crafts movement in the '50s. He was there for 8 years and continues it in his hometown. He was lovely but a bit cynical that made me laugh. When I told him that I'm living in the UK he brought a magazine featuring St Ives and Bernard Leach telling he's wanting to go. It was a huge feature but he asked if Leach's that big in the UK. It's true Leach's much more well known in Japan. 
Takeryo Kawaguchi in Arita. I fell in love with his work in Kumamoto and sent him email wanting to see more. He managed to make some time before I left Arita. I would have had all if I was travelling by car!  
His work is so honest and sincere like he is. He was born in the middle of porcelain and studied in porcelain and trained under masters in Iga and Shizuoka, and found he prefers rougher clay. He mixes stones and iron pieces into clay and does Kohiki (white slip on the surface), which gives rustic feel. These are from a series using decorating technique called Mishima which originally came from Korea in 14th century and we usually do it with smoother clay. During a chat I found out that using slip on greenware can be very tricky in Japan because of the humidity. It has to be the right weather and temperature and the clay has to be the right condition to do it. It requires a good skill and intuition. Very beautifully made... Just love it.


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