Wednesday, February 22, 2012

TOBE YAKI (砥部焼き)-Ceramics of Ehime Prefecture

Tobeyaki is the pottery of Ehime Prefecture. It is a white porcelain usually with indigo blue design.  It oft times has a bit of red incorporated in the design as well. It was founded in 1777. There are over 90 kilns in the Tobe area.
I recently found out about a less known Tobe ware. It has a carved out design, a 3D relief on the side.  It appears that there was a time when this style was popular in various regions of Japan. I will keep my eye out to try to find a piece to share.

This was made at least 30 years ago.  There is no artist mark.

Tobe Shuzan

Probably Kenzan-gama MARK

   This this is the Baizan Gama MARK

Tobe Yaki Namiroku Gama 砥部焼 波六窯

A helpful link in Japanese for the Tobe Kilns:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pottery Paradise.....a trip to Arita, Karatsu and Okayama

I just got back from a trip to Kyushu with my husband, where we were able to visit some kilns and shops in Arita and Karatsu. On our return we were able to make a stop in Okayama to see some Bizen ware as well.  We had the luck to meet and talk with an American Bizen artist, John Thomas Wells, who has made his home in the mountains of Bizen now for over 30 years.  We were able to see some of his work in the Takashimaya Department store exhibit, just as they were packing it all up! John was kind enough to let us in to see some of his works and to talk with us for a while.  We really appreciated the opportunity! 
After visiting kilns and seeing the process of making these beautiful wares I gained a greater appreciation for their value. I will be incorporating the information I obtained on this trip into each respective category along with some other samples and marks.