Japanese contemporary Ceramic Art.Yasuhide Kato had Takuo Kato as a living national treasure as his father, and Kobe Kato as his grandfather. He also went to Kyoto City University of Art to pursue pottery.At first, he developed an abstract sculpture, but gradually developed a kiln transformation work with strong fluidity.In recent years, he has leaned on vases of the primitive era and used the oldest decoration technique called string making in his works to express the power and vitality of ancient art in novel contemporary ceramics.After his father died, he named Kobei Kato 7th generation.
Kobe-gama Pottery was founded in 1804 in Ichinokura town in Tajimi, by first-generation founder Katou Kobe in Mino-no-kuni, who dyed and supplied tableware to high-rank customers, including the lords of the enormous Edo castle in present-day Tokyo. Ryotaro is the son of his 7th successor and a young force for the revival of the Mino region and an increased awareness abroad about this major Japanese pottery tradition. In spite of its impressive tradition the kiln is still not well represented abroad and is presently working to establish itself in China, Europe and elsewhere. By contrast, the master potters of the Kobe-gama has played an important role in bringing foreign ceramic culture to Japan. The late Living National Treasure, Takuo Katō (1917-2005), who was the sixth-generation master ceramicist of the Kobe-Gama Pottery, was the man who first found interest in ancient Persian lusterware ceramics. It's beautiful blue and three-colour glazes inspired him to revive the techniques of the Persian potters that had been completely lost after the 17th century.The journey to success was a long one, as there was no information on how the old Persians made their lusterware. Finally, Kato came upon the research of a deceased American professor, Arthur Upham Pope, at a visit to Pahlavi University in Tehran. Pope was dead, but fortunately, his wife was still alive and showed Pope's work to the Japanese ceramist. Kato now realised that not only was the clay used by the Persians different from that in Japan, but glazes included lead, tin, sodium, and other ingredients not utilized in the East Asian ceramic tradition. Furthermore, the lusterware kilns needed to be small. They could only accommodate a few pieces at a time and the firing temperatures must be kept quite low."The most important finding," Ryotaro explains, "was the construction of the Persian kilns. They were designed in such a fashion that the flames of the fire could not touch the ceramics directly. Thanks to Pope's research Takuo realised that it was the combination of the metal oxides in the glaze and the peculiar kiln design that the enabled the ancient Persians to produce their luster ware. With this insight, Takuo could now pursue his research in earnest. There were so many parts of the puzzle to this great mystery. The clay used by the Persians was different from here. It includes lots of salt and magnesium, which makes the ceramics fragile. It is also less heat resistant than Japanese clay. If you fire it at high temperature it falls apart and melts. In Japan and China, we usually fire at 1200° Celsius, but the Persian had to keep the temperature as low as 900°. This also contributes to the fragility of Persian luster ware."
IF U enter INTO KOBEGAMA you are able to see 360 view of the place
In the back of the facility you will find an old climbing kiln (anagama) that is still fired a few times a year. Look up to see a beautiful autumn foliage.This time we visited a renowned kiln in the world of Mino ware - the Kobe-gama. Master potter Ryotaro Kato (44) received us in the office on a fine, sunny November day. He is a fast but well-articulated speaker, and you can feel his energy and passion for ceramics. Today we met him to learn about Persian lusterware and its revival here at the Kobe-gama. On the second floor in the main building, there is a wonderful little museum exhibiting fantastic lusterware. The kiln has a strong connection to this Persian art form.