The charm of Rokko kiln Shigaraki ware
What is Shigaraki ware?
Shigaraki ware, produced in Shigaraki-cho, Shiga Prefecture, is one of Japan's six ancient kilns, said to have originated during the Tenpyo period, and was used to fire tiles when Emperor Shomu built the Shigaraki Palace. It is said that it began when After that, the style of Shigaraki ware matured under the influence of Sue ware potters south of Lake Biwa and Tokoname.
The charm of firing without glazing
Shigaraki ware is a type of pottery that allows you to enjoy the taste of the clay itself. Unlike the smooth, glazed pottery we normally use, yakishime does not use glaze, and is made from molded clay that retains its roughness.
A rustic appearance loved by tea masters
There is a wide range of products ranging from large items to small items such as water bottles, seed pots, tea pots, tea utensils, sake bottles, braziers, flowerpots, etc., and it continues to this day as a pottery that retains the unique "wabi" and "sabi" of Shigaraki ware. I'm here. During the Muromachi period, which can be said to be the germ of Japanese culture that formed the culture of ``tea ceremony,'' ``ikebana,'' and ``Noh/Kyogen,'' tea masters from geographically nearby Kyoto and Osaka found ``beauty'' in natural appearance and attracted much attention. I collected it.
The area around Shigaraki is located on the Old Biwako layer, which was created by the uplift of Kobiwako, the predecessor of Lake Biwa. Lake Oyamada, an ancient lake that was born around 4 million years ago near present-day Iga, Mie Prefecture, has moved over many years to the current location of Lake Biwa. During this process, sediment and remains of plants and animals were deposited on the bottom of the lake, forming the Old Biwa Lake layer, which is used in Shigaraki ware as a suitable soil for pottery. In Shigaraki, mountains surround the village where people live. Mountain slopes are suitable for building kilns, and you can also obtain firewood to fuel the kilns. This suggests that the area is geographically suitable for pottery.
Characteristics of Shigaraki ware
The characteristics of Shigaraki ware include the raised feldspar grains, the natural glaze that melts into the rough soil surface, and the soil that changes to red when fired. Shigaraki clay is white before firing, but changes to scarlet color due to the iron content in the clay. In addition, feldspar grains dissolve easily, and when baked, they swell and burst like rice cakes. In addition, silica grains are difficult to melt and remain in their original angular shape even after firing. A unique landscape has been created while benefiting from the ancient Lake Biwa that formed 4 million years ago.
Introducing the artists we work with
We would like to introduce Mr. Tani's works that are available on our online site. In addition to pieces that allow you to feel the traditional scarlet color and feldspar/silica grains of Shigaraki ware, we also have pieces that retain the goodness of Shigaraki's soil.
If you are interested, please check out my work.