You are currently browsing the Japanese Arts & Crafts blog archives for August, 2009.
- The finest classic collection of folding fan and flat paper fan, coming with a decorative picture, design, or Japanese depictive Ukiyoe characters
- Marked with a tradition of 400 years, custom-designed Ibasen sensu will make memorable promotional items, event gifts, and thank you gifts.
- Uniqueness in unglazed pottery with an aesthetic of refined rusticity and the elegant serenity of desolation.
Archive for August, 2009
1. Tokyo Metropolitan Edo-Tokyo Museum
Come to learn more about Tokyo’s history and culture !
● Schedule of special exhibitions
- ・Jul.4 (Sat)-Sep.6 (Sun) : Sharaku and other hidden Japanese masterworks from the land of NAUSIC AA
- ・Sep.19 (Sat)-Nov.8 (Sun) : Beautiful Shin-hanga Revitalization of Ukiyo-e
- ・Nov.23 (Mon)-Jan.17 (Sun) 2010 : Ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement) and Japanese beauty
2. Museum of contemporary art Tokyo
● Schedule of special exhibitions
- ・Jul.18 (Sat)-Oct.4 (Sun) : The Colors of Mary Blair
- ・Aug.1 (Sat)-Oct.4 (Sun) : Kosho Ito Works 1974-2009
- ・Oct.31 (Sat)-Jan.17, 2010 (Sun) : Luxury in fashion Reconsidered
- ・Oct.31 (Sat)-Jan.17), 2010 (Sun) : Rebecca Horn
3. Basho Museum
4. Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
5. The Ueno Royal Museum
6. Tokyo National Museum
● Schedule of special exhibitions
- ・Jul.14 (Sun)-Sep.6 (Sun) : Sometuke – The flourishing of underglaze porcelain ware in Asia
- ・Jul.14 (Sun)-Sep.6 (Sun) :Ise Jingu and Treasures of Shinto
- ・Oct.6 (Tues)-Nov.3 (Mon) : Treasures of the Imperial Collections – Splendor of Japanese Art Part 1
- ・Nov.12 (Tues)-Nov.29 (Sun) : Treasures of the Imperial Collections – Splendor of Japanese Art Part 2
I went to Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo.
Enjoy the Colors of Mary Blair !
Mary Blair produced concept art and color styling for such Disney films as “Cinderella” and “Alice in Wonderland,” as well as character designs for the Disneyland.
The exhibition was great! She created wonderful pieces.
One of her famous character “ Lemonade Girl”
I love this !
Alice in Wonderland
Very interesting installations
There are some benches to rest.
Giant robot “Torayan” you can see it at the entrance by free !
upps !! Look at the guy
Isn’t he funny?
* Atelier / Session menu / Time required / Capacity / Fee / Session Schedule / other information
Founded in 1939, the store, specializing in tortoiseshell, was elected the 3M movement of Sumida Ward. The second generation master has also been certified as the intangible cultural heritage of Sumida Ward and earned numerous awards from the director of Sumida Ward as well as the governor of Tokyo. http://isogai-bekko.jp/
Over 50 items of battledores are displayed throughout the year, you can also observe the process of making there products. They also accept custom-made requests.
Founded in 1892, the museum has over 100 years of history in making paulownia chests.
At this model shop, you can learn about the history and the production process of Edokiriko. Over 350 works are exhibited for sale.
\3.000 per person if less than 9people the fee will change / Mon.-Satur. 9:00-17:00
This store is certified a museum and mode shop meister of Sumida Ward. The production process as well as the tools used to make the artwork are among the display.
This Edokibashi(chopsticks) specialty store has a tradition over 100 years. You can choose a pair of specific shape and design you like.
Per group + \1.500 per person
A traditional Edo Komon special store, where a number of Kimono, obi, olouses, as well as leather products made of the Edo Komon zome ( small repeating pattern dyeing) are displayed for sale.
Japanese culture has been greatly enhanced by the traditional techniques of wonderful craftsmen. We want to send Japanese culture to the world through the craftsman’s artistic skills.
Bizen is a simple pottery which directly reflects the colors of clay and has existed for more than 1.000 years.
You can learn a lot about Japanese pottery from Bizen.
- Issei Ohira
Master of pottery『Bizen-ichi』
Member of 『Bizenyaki toyukai』
Born 1951 in Okayama prefecture. Issei’s father, Seinosuke is a bizen potter and his brother, Takaaki is also a Bizen potter. He grew up in a Bizen family. In 1982 he succeeded as the master of his father’s pottery works『Bizen-ichi』
“Bizen ware for living”, he originated new styles of Bizen ware such as tiles, aroma stands, etc. He has won prizes 15times in Okayama prefectural exhibitions.
- Interview with Issei Ohira
「Bizen ware and I」
- I asked about his relation to Bizen ware, the attraction of Bizen ware and some ideas for making use of it for daily life to Mr. Ohira who proposed “Bizen ware for living”
Father who became Bizen potter from bricklayer
- Q : Your father was a Bizen potter, right ?
- Ohira : Yes. He was a bricklayer before. But one day he started learning Bizen ware from Mr.Fujiwara who was a living national treasure, and become a Bizen potter.
- Q : Was it easier to adapt because he had the knowledge and techniques of bricklaying ?
- Ohira : Maybe. When I was a junior highschool student, my father started making a big kiln, like 3m×10m, on the slope of a hill behind our house. I had to help him after school every day. It took almost 1 year to complete.
- Q : Was that what led you to become a Bizen potter ?
- Ohira : No. He let me bring soil and feed the kiln. It was really heavy work. I couldn’t stand such hard labor like that, so I found employment at the local credit association.
- Q : How did you become a Bizen potter then?
- Ohira : It was s strange feeling, after I was away from the pottery, I realized that I missed Bizen ware. I became nostalgic for the feeling of excitement when the pieces were completed. Then I reentered as a pupil of my father.
Fun of Bizen ware
- Q : What is the most interesting part of Bizen ware ?
- Ohira : I am fascinated by the combination of artificial shapes and natural colors.
- Q : Using natural materials, do you sometimes fail to produce the desired effect?
- Ohira : Definitely. Sometimes works break by miss matching of kiln temperature and clay. Sometimes the colors of the ware are so much different from what I imagined. Should I feel happy to find the beautiful colors by chance, or feel failure? To put it Simply, I enjoy the variety. It is similar to cooking.
- Q : It is very important to get the proper soil for Bizen ware. How do you get it?
- Ohira : There is good soil in rice paddies so I make contracts with the farmers to dig.
I sometimes mix it with coarse soil.
- Q : You run around looking for the soil and dig. How long does it take to fire?
- Ohira : 8-10 days, it is depends on the work.
- Q : Do you have to maintain the fire during these days ?
- Ohira : Yes. It is important to control the temperature. I work on it 24 hours. I can not do it alone so, I ask other potters to help. Of course I help the other potters too
- Q : Do you put your own works into the kiln when you help other potters?
- Ohira : Sometimes, yes. It is fun to discover the different colors and patterns from the other kilns.
- Q : How about taking pieces out of the kiln?
- Ohira : Basically, I let them cool the same number of days as firing. If it takes 8days to complete, it takes 8days to cool.
- Q : It takes a really long time to complete !
- Ohira : Yes. That’s why we can only make them once or twice a year.
Bizen ware for living
- Q : You propose Bizen ware as daily use ware, right?
- Ohira : Bizen ware can be useful in our daily lives. Since I realized that, I am interested in Bizen ware as goods for living rather for admiration.
- Q : What is the good point of Bizen ware for living?
- Ohira : Bizen ware is good for ventilation because, it is unglazed. So, For example, we can keep water pure longer. Many people used to use Bizen water jars at the time that we didn’t have water service. Likewise, using Bizen vase is good for flowers.
- Q : It reminds me that when I put beer in a Bizen glass, the bubbles are smoother.
- Ohira : Because, there are a lot of small indentations inside of the Bizen glass, bubbles will be smashed against them. Bizen ware has more good points, such as strong, keeping warm well, making sake mellow, etc.
- Q : What kind of piece do you work on most ?
- Ohira : Tiles.
- Q : Tiles ? Is it Tile for floors, or walls ?
- Ohira : Yes, both. Bizen Tile not only looks nice but also is very strong and waterproof. And it is not slippery.
- Q : It seems that there is many places to use Bizen ware.
- Ohira : Yes, of course. The reason why I insist on “Bizen ware for living” is that I believe it makes our life and mind rich by its simple beauty.
Thank you for your time today.
- Attraction of Bizen
- Bizen ware is characterized by its reddish brown color making the most of the soil traits. It is unglazed so directly conveys the charm of the soil. Soil has many different ingredients. The surface of Bizen ware is entirely dependent on the combination of clay and flames. It is the world of “ Wabi Sabi”. It has caught the attention and admiration of tea ceremony masters since the Muromachi period.
- History of Bizen
- Japanese ceramic skill was conveyed in the fifth century from Korea. It initially used a potter’s wheel to make “Sueki”. The six ancient kilns of the middle age in Japan such as “Bizen-Yaki”, “Tanba-Yaki”, Echizeen-Yaki”, “Seto-Yaki”, Tokoname-Yaki” and “Shigaraki-Yaki” began by making “Sueki”.
Other styles have been changed to glazed ware, which is useful for decorating with patterns and is waterproof but, only Bizen ware is left unglazed. Generally, the reason is that clay in Bizen, especially the Imbe area has a high quality so it isn’t necessary to glaze it. Clay in Imbe is made more for waterproof and durable through firing slowly over a long period of time.
Bizen clay also has a high iron content and much organic matter. It creates beautifully simple patterns. It was not at all necessary to glaze it.
In fact, it is said that, the clay doesn’t match to glaze well because, it is too sticky, not waterproof enough, shrink easily and is too high in iron.
However, that incompatibility led us to the wonderful “Bizen ware of today” which explores the character of clay and natural fusion.
- Traditional pattern of Bizen ware
- Bizen ware is fired with specially selected red pine wood in specoal kiln. The surface treatments of Bizen ware is entirely dependent on kiln conditions.
- When pine ashes melt in the high heat, they create an ash glaze on the surface. It looks as if it were covered with sesami seeds.
- When a piece gets buried in the ashes at the bottom of the kiln, it gets only indirect fire and poor air circulation, causing oxidation-reduced firing. It creates colors of gray, dark gray and blue.
- Placing rice straws between pieces and wrapping a piece with them makes this effect.
White or light brown piece with red lines are the results.
- When a small piece of clay is placed in a bowl during firing, the small spot leaves an unfired red spot.
- When a piece is placed in a rice straw sack in a certain part of the kiln, it turns blue gray.
- When a piece is covered with another piece on top, it creates two different colors at the top and bottom.
Japanese Craftsman 1
Bizen Yaki 1