Wednesday, January 12, 2011


There are a variety of reasons why people like Shigaraki wood fired pottery. In my mind, a unique beauty of Shigaraki pottery is the interaction between the tsuchi-aji (clay flavor) and the hi-iro fire coloring. The tsuchi-aji stands as a testament to where a pot was made and in most cases how it was fired.

The illustrated piece is a Shigaraki chawan by veteran potter Kon Chiharu of Niigata. Kon studied with one of the preeminent Shigaraki style potters of the 20th century; Tsuji Seimei and despite his location, his anagama fired works are Shigaraki through and through.

This chawan has wonderful hi-iro fire color encapsulating the two “moons” (Ni-Getsu) where wads separated pots from one another. The potter's throwing rhythm entice the eye to the seductive lip peppered in ash, and then into the bowl’s wet (uroi) interior. Overall, this chawan is the personification of tsuchi-aji.

More information and pictures of this chawan can be seen on my other website;