Friday, October 7, 2016


I was having an email exchange recently regarding modern Hagi pottery, more specifically regarding chawan and what comes to mind immediately for me is the bowl that is illustrated. This picture obviously comes from a book and is of a wonderfully modern, traditional and idiosyncratic chawan by Miwa Kyusetsu XI (Jyusetsu) that typifies modern Hagi to my eye. Though best known for his Oni-Hagi, Shiro-Hagi pottery,  Kyusetsu's more traditional pottery is seen in full expression in this chawan; form, posture, lip, foot and surface show off the array of the best Hagi-yaki characteristics from rich daido clay to blushed, creamy surface with a lip that beckons to the user, "drink, drink deeply for that is my purpose". I know everyone has that specific image that is conjured up when mentioning a particular region, style or tradition but for me, this chawan is quintessential Showa Hagi and what always springs to mind.
"The surface of Hagi Ware is essentially feminine. It has a soft, warm quality and kind of fascination, as though if touched it might attach itself or bewitch you. Even Oni-Hagi Ware with its rough interior has a great calm surface. " Someno Yoshinobu, an extract from the catalogue of the Someno Collection.