kutani ware: 1 post

The Colorful World of Japanese Kutani Ceramics

The first time I made my own clay pot, I must have been six or seven years old. My mother’s family comes from Poltava, the central region of Ukraine famous for its arts and crafts, and ceramics in the town of Opishnya have a long tradition. My great-grandmother Asya visited the town every summer to select new dishes and pots and she must have taken me along. My memories of that visit are fragmentary, but I recall the softness of the clay, the brilliance of the green glaze, and a slight disappointment that my pot didn’t come out as symmetrical as I thought it should have been. However, that experience made me fascinated with ceramics and the way rough soil can assume the most exquisite of forms.

I rekindled my passion for ceramics while working and traveling in Asia. In Japan, the ceramic arts have a strong reputation and many different styles of pottery and porcelain exist, from the natural-looking Bizen ware to the ornate Imari ware. One could travel from the north of the country to the south and discover ceramics studios in every region, each showcasing a specific style of pottery. During one such trip, I discovered the colorful charm of Kutani ware.

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