Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Japan Ceramics Tour - Bizen, Izu, Oiso

The tour continued to Bizen, via the charming but touristy town of Kurashiki, and then to the Izu area and Oiso, where we saw great ceramics but did not discover any great Japanese food. We did stay at an interesting inn, Arcana, on the Izu Peninsula, which featured beautiful Western style rooms with luxurious individual outdoor baths and carefully prepared (overly precious) Japanese French food.

The extraordinary artists that we visited included the giants of Bizen ceramics, Kakurezaki Ryuichi and Harada Shuroku, who have each in his own way broken with tradition in his forms and who masterfully develop amazing colors in their wood-fired kilns . . .

Sculptural forms by Kakurezaki

Side view of a plate by Kakurezaki

Powerful unglazed vessels by Harada Shuroku

. . . Ogawa Machiko, whose powerful forms look as if they have been torn from the earth (and who is having a major retrospective at the Toyota City Museum . . .

Ogawa in front of her exhibition poster
. . . Sugiyura Yasuyoshi, who is renowned for his ceramic flowers, among other things . . .

Flowers by Sugiyura

. . . and Kawase Shinobu, the greatest living Japanese celadon artist, whose elegant forms simply exude perfection.

 A pair of celadon bowls by Kawase Shinobu

Room with private bath and "French" breakfast at Arcana

And thus ended Joan's Magical Mystery Ceramics Tour, 2011.

Bobby Jay

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