Friday, October 15, 2010


Here are a few Japanese terms used to describe wood fired potteries or Bizen, Shigaraki, Iga, Echizen, Tamba and Tokoname among others.

Tamadare- (ball runs) running lines from the ash flow, some ending in a ball or droplet of vitrified ash

Yohen- kiln change(d), surfaces changed by the atmosphere or the kiln, fire changed

Bidoro- from the old term vitoro, glassy, running deposits and droplets of vitrified ash sometimes ending in green “tear drops” called tombo-me, dragonfly eyes

Yu-Damari- pools of natural ash glaze, especially seen in the mikomi

Goma(bai)- small, spotted areas deposited during the firing, speckled ash

Sangiri- areas of localized reduction created where the pot sat in a charcoal bed

Hi-iro- fire color/ flame color

Koge – “burnt”, areas where ash and charcoal build up and appear burnt in brown, black or grey tones mostly

Hishoku- bright red hi-iro, mostly seen on Bizen-yaki

Bota-mochi- bean rice cakes, areas that are mostly bare clay from clay wads to act as resists

Shizenyu- natural ash glaze deposited during the firing, to occur naturally

Ishihaze- stone bursts, a common trait in Shigaraki-yaki where the clay cracks around feldspatic stones within the clay

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