SHOUMAN ( 小満 ) INCREASING HEAT
Hongo Hideyuki Gold Chawan Safflower blooms tea bowl SPRING Solstice
Wide Awake In Japan
23. 紅花栄: "The Safflower Blooms"
Ando Hidetake chawan Shino tea bowl Fantastic execution of the Shino pottery style in the form. Treasure enclosed in the original signed wooden box.Height 9.6cm Mouth diameter 12.4cm Trunk diameter of 13.6cm Bottom diameter 7.1cm
Ando Hidetake only uses clay from the Mino area where he works walking around in the mountains trying to find the clay needed to make classic Shino and other Mino ware. "True Mino ware cannot be made from clay you buy." The works of Hidetake Ando have their own style, with the depth and thickness of the atmosphere different from those of conventional ones.
He is exhibited in many museums including the Brooklyn and Newark museums in the USA.
Ando hands the white glaze on this large cup. A treasure enclosed in the original signed wooden box. The white rise like fire up through the feldspar in perfect condition. "Hidetake was born third generation into a Mino pottery family in Gifu prefecture in 1938. He began an apprenticeship under Kato Tokuro in 1960. A testament to his skill "- Ando is the Living National Treasure of all the times. Fantastic execution
This piece comes with its original tomobako bearing the signature and seal of the artist. The bottom of the piece is also signed with Ando's characteristic mark "日" Ando, a master well known in Japan in particular for his Kiseto works.
You said you had to start from scratch and nobody would share their knowledge with you. Does that mean you even had to build your kiln with no advice whatsoever?
"Yes, indeed! I started out with a common gas kiln, to get started in the business. But after a while I could not find any satisfaction in just producing for the market. I felt an urge to try my hand at what the great potters of the Momoyama era made in their day. That would require a Momoyama style kiln - an anagama [cave kiln]. My older sister lived in a place called Kukkuri in Kani city, and she asked around if there was a piece of land somewhere in the mountains where I could build a kiln. Luckily there was a landowner in possession of what I was looking for. "There is a hill on my land you could use," he said. That was it. I borrowed six thousand yen and bought the land."
"Luckily there was a man who could give me advice on how to build my kiln which I called Sentarogama. It wasn't easy. Nothing about this work is easy, and that is why I love it so much! Thinking back about the potters in the Momoyama era you have to admire their accomplishments. In their time there was no electricity, everything was primitive compared to our present day. In spite of that they were able to produce the most exquisite pottery! I firmly believe that even today in order to produce something of that class you need to go up in the mountains and find the proper clay. You must make your own glaze the old fashioned way. Nothing you can buy will replace such raw materials. Once you have the materials and your kiln, the path ahead is trying, failing, and trying again. And it will never end."
At what point did you feel completely satisfied with a piece?
That point has yet to come. I have never felt I succeed completely! What's worse, those pieces that come out good enough to sell - none of which I would consider perfect - are but a fraction of the whole. Generally about ten percent are salable. You have to spend about 1500 bundles of firewood during the six days of firing. The cost is huge and must be covered by those few decent pieces. This is why I only use the best pine firewood from Fukushima in the last stage of the firing. The first three days I spend to raise the heat to an even level inside the kiln. In this first stage, we stoke every 30 to 40 minutes, and hold the temperature at 950 degrees Celsius for three days. Then we go from 950 to 1250, stoking every five minutes. Only at this stage I use expensive high quality firewood because that is the critical time in the creative process.
How about the placement of the pieces inside the kiln?
"There is no way to know how the fire and ashes will affect the pieces inside, you are completely at the mercy of Mother Nature. When firing Shino you also don't use any protecting casing for the pieces. You can only put them in there and hope for the best. Moreover, the kiln site outside on the slope of a hill. There is no way of knowing what the weather is going to be like, and the weather has a big impact on the conditions for the firing. Nevertheless I will always begin firing on the day I have decided, come sunshine or rain, it doesn't matter. So I am at the mercy of the elements. I only fire twice a year, in spring and autumn. Again, conditions differ between the seasons. So as you can see what comes out of the kiln is something Nature will decide, and that is also why I never get tired of this work!"
"The most important thing is to have fun. I find that the firing is the most exciting in the whole process. You can have the best clay in the world and give your pottery the best shape imaginable, but it is during those last climactic days in the fire of the kiln the final result is decided. It was thirty-five years ago that I climbed up that hill and began to build my anagama kiln in the middle of nowhere. I had to route power lines up there so I could have electricity. I must build a dwelling and a workshop, and dug a well. And of course I had to build the kiln itself. I lived like a tramp up there during this time," he says, laughing. "I spent days in the mountains to find the clay I needed. During all this time I have only found three good deposits. But it was what I had to do."
ABOUT HIDETAKE ANDO
Hidetaki Ando has been awarded the honorable titles of Gifu Prefecture Important Intangible Cultural Property Holder and Tajimi City intangible cultural property holder. He has also received numerous other cultural awards and has appeared frequently in the media, including TV programs broadcast by NHK, Japan's public broadcaster.
TSUCHINOKOGAMA (皆川仁史 土)
新学/Manabu Atarashi(Japan,Mie 1973 - )
Born in 1973 Born in Osaka. graduated from the Faculty of Literature at Kansai University in 2007. In 1999, he studied with his father. He made his first ceramic works in the Iga Ueno Sangen oven. In 2002 he built a rectified pit and single chamber oven. After his first solo exhibition in Kobe, since 2003 he has been actively participating in many collective galleries in different cities (Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Wakayama, etc.). In 2008 he built the second anagama oven. The geometric pieces of shinogi add a modern aesthetic to the traditional Iga style and transform them into utilitarian sculptures. A pleasure to use and keep or simply admire on a shelf. Bold works made in an anagama. Large chawan fired with feldspar that features evil flame in front. Visible some vidoro/glassification from the melted minerals that have hardened after cooling. Made by an artist that is fortunate to be able to use the clay from his own property. The details on these pieces are like a universe all on their own and will change in color with use..
The unmistakable style is Iga. His works are solid and modern, Manabu is one of the most representative and makes the difference of Iga's impressive image so far. Atarashi likes to cook a lot, he transfers much of the spiritual part of tradition into his works. Anagama is fun but difficult to control, gas is easier. The wood naturally melts and becomes a pearl, creating a landscape on its work.