Friday, March 4, 2011


There has been much written about Kakurezaki Ryuichi (b. 1950), so I will skip most of the details. He studied with Isezaki Jun, current Juyo Mukei Bunkazai for Bizen-yaki and set off to establish his own kiln in 1985. Many consider this move to have ushered in what is now referred to as Heisei Bizen (the Heisei era started in 1989). Though Kakurezaki’s pottery is decidedly Bizen in tradition, style and firing, his works are unlike any other Bizen potter. His works challenge the concepts of classical and traditional form and it is really not easy to put Kakurezaki’s work within the Bizen tradition.

By looking at this chawan, it would seem that Kakurezaki has an intuitive geometrical formula running through his being. Many of his forms, this chawan included, shows a wonderful sense of proportion and planes and angles that work so well with how he fires his kiln. His works play with visual geometry and challenge the concepts of classical and traditional form. When you combine his constructed vocabulary with his unique approach to firing, it is easy to see why his works can easily be picked out of a crowd.

The illustrated chawan is an excellent example of his intense and successful firing technique together with his broad planes that are accentuated by the running ash. The kodai is cleverly cut to address the issue of geometry and in this case, mimics the form of the bowl. No matter how you look at it, this is a cutting edge and dynamic chawan.