Since we were on the subject of wood fired, this particular chawan is woodfired². Dominating the field of Bizen ware, Kakurezaki Ryuichi has blazed a trail that connects the old to the new and as such, has influenced a whole generation of Bizen potters. This Kuro-Bizen, black Bizen chawan shows the contemplative aggression that he is known for, creating angles, cuts, facets and deliberate planes that catch and deflect the ash circulating around his nobori-gama kiln. There is a virtuoso's blend of formula and improvisation in Kakurezaki's works, repeating forms more in theory than in actuality, each is unique even before it goes in to the kiln.
Through a combination of experience, determination and serendipity, this chawan shows the (creative) aggression of both potter and fire to its fullest. Dipped in a black engobe, the bowl faced the flames and ferocity of the firing and has survived to tell its tale of how it was created and how it was fired. The long tamadare tendrils licking back from the face of the bowl and the black surface wet with ash, have long since melted and fused to near perfection on this masterwork by Kakurezaki. With trial and error, Kakurezaki is constantly on the move forward, cutting his way into brave new ground for Bizen-yaki and in fact, modern Japanese ceramics.
(Photo provided and used with the permission of a private collector.)