“The artwork of fire” made in a wood-fired kiln
A teapot that greatly shows the beauty of handmade crafts, and makes smooth-tasting tea
Generally, red clay teapots are electric fired or gas fired, but this teapot is a unique wood-fired piece with a distinctive appearance. It was made using powerful flames that electric kilns cannot produce, making this piece one of a kind.
It has an easy-to-hold design, and the potter’s wheel swirl greatly shows the beauty of its handmade qualities.
■Size: 9.7cm in diameter×14cm in length×9.8cm in height.
■Maximum capacity: about 300ml.
■Country of manufacture: Japan.
■Notes: no box.
The capacity indicates the amount of water to completely fill the teapot up to the very edge (if it has a lid, then up to the lid). The amount of hot water during actual use will be smaller than the indicated capacity.
* This item cannot be put in dishwashers, microwave ovens, ovens, or over an open flame.
The secret behind the delicious taste of tea made in Tokoname ware teapots
Tokoname ware teapots are made from Tokoname potter’s clay, a clay most suited for teapots, using advanced techniques that have been passed down. This combination creates a teapot that makes enjoyable tea.
＜High-iron Tokoname clay.＞Because Tokoname clay contains iron, it reacts with the tannins found in tea, perfectly adjusting its astringency and bitterness. Also, the characteristics of Tokoname clay allows it to be baked without glaze. This allows the clay to absorb any impurities in the tea, making the tea taste smoother.
＜A ceramic mesh that eliminates the need for a tea strainer.＞This teapot is designed to pour tea without using a metal tea strainer. You can enjoy your delicious tea to the last drop just by adding tea leaves into the teapot and pouring hot water over it.
The ceramic mesh, which is a fine ceramic tea strainer, is designed to be a part of the teapot. Unlike metal tea strainers, this allows the tea leaves to fully open inside the teapot, extracting all the components of the tea.
＜The lid-rubbing technique makes it highly airtight, brewing the tea well.＞Lid rubbing is the process of rubbing the lid against the teapot to tightly seal them, and is one of the techniques used in making Tokoname ware teapots. This technique makes the teapot more airtight, which allows the tea leaves to brew well, producing delicious tea.
Tokoname ware is a Japanese tradition that has continued for more than 1000 years.
It is one of “Japan’s six ancient kilns” that represent Japan, and have been designated as Japanese heritage.
Tokoname ware is stoneware produced in the Chita Peninsula, mainly in Tokoname City, Aichi Prefecture and its vicinity. Stoneware are vessels that are baked until solid as stone, and have properties that are somewhere between porcelain and pottery. Because they are made of high-iron clay, baking them at 1200–1300℃ results in solid vessels that have a fine material with no water absorbency.
Tokoname clay is viscous and has a fine grain, making it incredibly smooth and high in iron. Normally, when making pottery or porcelain, if the clay contains iron, it is difficult to handle as it can become black or swell when baking. However, Tokoname ware takes advantage of this weak point and makes the best out of the iron content in the clay by creating their characteristic uniform reddish-brown pottery.
Artist: Watanabe Toshifumi1984 Born at a Tokoname ware pottery.
2002 Graduated from Aichi Prefecture’s Tokoname High School, Ceramics Department.
2002–2005 Studied at Kasen pottery, Akazu, Seto.
2005 Started making pottery in Kouzan pottery (the family home).
2006 Won the Prime Minister’s Award for Tokoname ware promotion exhibition.
2007 Opened Gallery Toshi.
2008 Won the Prime Minister’s Award for Tokoname ware promotion exhibition.
2014 Appointed as president and representative director of Kouzan pottery.
2015 Exhibited his work at the Japan Pavilion in the Milan International Expo.
2019 Heisei era–Reiwa era.
Created the vessels for the ceremony of the emperor abdication and the crown prince enthronement.
A rising young artist who inherited the four Tokoname teapot traditions as the descendant of the founder of Tokoname teapots, Sugie Jumon. As the seventh head of Tokoname, he participates in pottery activities, mainly at solo and group exhibitions.
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