Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Booh-Ya, Tsuboya!

Nakamura Masahiro Yunomi (2)

I am going to say that Tsuboya Yaki falls into the category that I didn't know existed basically until I purchased this piece.  Tsuboya is a traditional Japanese pottery out of Osaka. While there is quite little information about it online in English, from what I have gathered their Yunomi are known for having this shape complete with rather large foot.

The artist is Nakamura Masahiro, and while this is not the initial piece I ordered from this artist ( the one I wanted was sold the day before and it had yet to show up in inventory). But the owner of the gallery informed me that he had another piece from this artist, and offered to send me photos.  Oddly this piece is really growing on me, The glaze pattern is quite interesting, I have never quite been one for Polka Dots.

Nakamura Masahiro Yunomi (1)

This though seems to be one of the Japanese pieces I have that is the most resilient, with no sign of staining in crackles in the glaze ( can't really even see any crackles on the inside).  Its also rather nice, and don't tell anyone, but when I just wanted to drink big cups, I brewed up some Black/ Red tea and poured directly from the pot into the cup, and it was incredibly nice.  With my hagi I am scared to do something like that as I feel the strong odours will somehow get locked in the clay and then every time I have sencha after that it smells like Keemun or similar.

So I guess onto my review of the piece.  Super smooth glaze that is fun to touch, and some how my pinky always finds its self resting on and playing with the foot, when I hold it or drink it.   It definitely falls into the category of teaware I have started to explore recently, which are pieces that strive for perfection in their shape and form.  As such it may not be readily apparent, but those two photos are from opposite sides of the cup, even though they look basically identical. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


So I am known for loving Wabi sabi pieces, which depending on your choice of words could be considered rustic, wonky, rough, or just plain childish in their appearance. One thing I will say is in my limited work with making my own pottery, the real talent in Hagi and similar wares is making the irregularity of the piece seem like it just absolutely belongs there.  Whether it is a  flaw in the glaze, or just plain rough and irregular form of the piece, after you get to know the piece you wouldn't have it any other way.

So now for something completely different:

Tagami Munetoshi Yunomi

This lovely cup is from Tagami Munetoshi a fifth generation Mashiko potter.  I say something completely different because the cup like quite a bit  of Mashiko ware, and many other types of pottery in Japan they aim for near perfection in every piece.  I honestly never thought I would enjoy these nearly perfectly created pieces as much as I do, its shape is also incredibly interesting, and its fun to rub my finger over those three green dots on each side of the cup which were applied quite thick and are slightly raised above the surface.

The cup its self when empty is so light and delicate feeling its almost like holding nothing at all, except for the slightly cool sensation on your fingers, there is no real sign that you are holding a piece of pottery. What was a wonderful surprise for me, is that although the glazing on the inside looked completely coherent, after a few cups of tea it stained in very fine crackles, giving the piece that well loved look I enjoy so much.

I will admit I have a lot to learn about Mashiko yaki.  I see no sign of a chop on this piece.  I almost wonder if its one of those things that takes some practice, and eventually you can identify a pieces providence on sight alone.