Friday, July 29, 2016

"Kohiki" Pieces by Fuminari Araga

When summer heat gets overwhelming here in Tokyo, Japan, we tend to miss white ceramics.  And not just any other white, but we wish something that seems cool, but also, quite contradictory, warm at the same time, and white that can be used with any kind of dish, whether Japanese, Chinese, Western cuisines...  We know we’re asking so much, but Fuminari Araga’s work can actually make all of these wishes come true.

Kohiki is a technique that covers the clay body with white slip and then translucent glaze.  Fascinating aspect of Araga-san’s kohiki is that as you use it, the brown color from meals or drinks gradually seep into the small cracks on the surface called crazings.  We Japanese call this “growing” or “maturing” and enjoy the gradual change of colors of the crazings.  

 [Fuminari Araga Kohiki Rinka Mukouzuke (Small Flower Petal Shaped Bowl) 2160 yen]

Even leftovers from the day before, or deli from the grocery store can look scrumptuous when served in Araga-san’s work.  This particular piece called “Rinka Mukouzuke”, rinka meaning flower petal shaped,  is the perfect size for a single serving of side dish for Japanese food. 

[Fuminari Araga Kohiki Meshi-wan (Rice Bowl)  3024 yen

A photo of “meshi-wan”, single serving rice bowl, that sits comfortably in the hand. 

Caring and handling of ceramics, handmade by an artist may seem a bit difficult, but Araga-san’s pieces are very practical: they can be used in both microwave and dishwasher.  If soaked in water before used, the ceramics absorbs the water a bit and glistens softly. 

In order to keep the subtle marks made by the hand-throwing process, Araga-san tries to avoid carving as much as possible except for the foot.  Araga-san’s highly trained throwing technique is demonstrated in his work as seen in this photo.  

[Araga Fuminari Kohiki Go-sun Bataraizara (Medium Size Flat Bowl) 3240 yen]

Small size flat bowl is also available in our store. 

Please come to our store and check out Fuminari Araga’s beautiful “Kohiki” pieces if you are in Tokyo, Japan! 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Flower Vases by Taira Kuroki and Shiho Takada

Taira Kuroki and Shiho Takada, husband and wife, are two talented ceramic artists based in Kyoto Prefecture.  Their elegant, beautiful works are characterized by the thinness and lightness that are carefully created by their excellent craftsmanship. 

Two vases by the couple:  The black glaze vase on the right is by Taira Kuroki and the ash crackling vase on the left is by Shiho Takada.  Though they have their own unique, artistic style, the couple’s work somehow complements each other’s ceramics when placed together side by side.  

Seasonal flower in a delicate and sculptural vase titled “Shizuku” (rain drop) by Taira Kuroki.  

Flowers can be easily placed and arranged in the “Shizuku” vase because the asymmetrical opening is narrow while the side has a bit of height that supports the stem.  Both aesthetically pleasing and functional, Taira Kuroki’s works are carefully designed to be used in daily life.  

The beauty of hydrangea in this photo is drawn out and enhanced by the vase from the crazing series by Shiho Takada.  Shiho Takada’s works have quiet grace and are distinguished by the gorgeous cracklings, which are created by painting the ceramics right out of the first fire with ink of natural charcoal.  

We are thrilled to be able to introduce the beauties of the highly acclaimed ceramic artist, Taira Kuroki and Shiho Takada’s works.  Please drop by our store to see their works in person if you are in the Shibuya area, Tokyo.