Friday, October 28, 2016

Exhibition by Kudo Kazuhiko and Kotaro Matsuura

We are pleased to announce our upcoming exhibition in November. 

Kudo Kazuhiko and Kotaro Matsuura
November 5th, 2016 ~ December 4th, 2016

*Both artist will be present at our store on November 5th (Sat.)

Kazuhiko Kudo

1970   Born in Kanagawa Prefecture
1988   After graduating high school, trained with apprenticeship under Shigaraki-style artist Kiyoko Kouyama and Kenichi Kouyama 
1996   Opened his studio at home in Kenbuchi-machi in Hokkaido
2002   Moved to Asahikawa City
2003   Won “Harumi Kurihara” Grand Prize for his “Yellow-Slip Flat Bowl with Pouring Lip” piece in the National Public Contest
2012   Acquired Kyu-Asahikawa Onsen and opened Studio Banna
2013   Participated in Tupiniers du Lyon, the biggest ceramics festival in Europe, as a first Japanese participant
Currently having exhibitions in all over Japan..  

Kotaro Matsuura

1981   Born in Osaka Prefecture
2004   Graduated from Nara University, majored in Literature, in the Department of Cultural Property
2006   After graduating from  Pottery Design Department of Kyoto Prefecture Potter Technical School, worked as a ceramics painter in Kyo-yaki studio
2009   Started creating pieces in a rental studio in Kyoto Yamashina
2015~   Creating tableware in Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Shapes of Tableware

The right tableware is essential in hosting an exceptional dinner party or everyday dining at home. However, tableware must not only make a meal look scrumptious, but it also must be easily handled and be functional. Japanese dishes are oftentimes picked up from the table and held in a palm while eating, so the right shape and heaviness are some of the critical elements when choosing Japanese tableware.  For example, if you are choosing a pouring vessel, the shape and heaviness must be perfect so that it fits comfortably when grasped in hand and the spout must be formed carefully so that the liquid does not drip from the side. 

In the case of Michihiro Domoto and Kumiko Domoto, not only are the couple’s works aesthetically pleasing, but the functionality of their tableware is highly notable. For instance, bowls with small lips are made by many different artists, but since the bowl is intended to be used to serve food and not liquid, the lips are usually not functional and are placed for decoration purpose only. However, the square shape bowl from the photo by Domoto-san can actually be used as a pouring vessel!  Domoto-san’s meticulous craftsmanship is demonstrated in how the liquid flow end without a single drip running from the side.   

[“Mishimade” style square lipped bowl]  (Large) 4860 yen (Small) 3780 yen

The talented couple makes myriad drinking vessels with various shapes and sizes, but features common among them are that they fit perfectly when grasped and they glisten beautifully when poured Japanese sake.    Domoto-san’s great love towards Japanese sake is definitely reflected in how well their vessels are crafted. 

The brilliant blue pieces from the photo are work made by Kumiko Domoto and are influenced by faience pieces from ancient Egypt. 

[Faience Cup]  5400 yen

The “Mishimade” technique ceramics.  “Mishimade” is a technique that carves lines with a bamboo skewer or makes dents from a stamp on red clay, and embeds them with white clay.  In the case of a joint working Domoto couple, Michihiro-san hand throws on the potter’s wheel, while his wife, Kumiko-san, handles the inlaying to create lovely “Mishimade” piece as seen in this photo. 

If you look at these cups from above...

small character that mean fortune is carefully carved!  Truly admirable hand craftsmanship by Kumiko-san is demonstrated in these small details.  

[Mishimade sake cup]  3500 yen 

This is also work by Kumiko-san inspired by earthenware from Persia. 
[Zougan cup] 3780 yen

This piece is a small vessel that can hold only up to 50 ml, but may be used for various purposes, such as a dressing pitcher for two servings, creamer, and a small sauce boat.

[Mishimade pourer] 3240 yen

This large size tea pot is perfect for tea and coffee.  Wonderful craftsmanship is exhibited in how the delicate lip and easy to grasp handle are formed.

[Mishimade pot (large)]  18360 yen 

We are currently working hard to open an online store for overseas shipment, so that we can offer these lovely pieces to everyone living outside of Japan.  We will announce our opening of our new online store on our website, instagram, and this blog, so please continue to check them out!