Hagi ware Senryuzan climbing kiln Japanese sake cup Bajyohai
-- About Senryuzan Kiln of Hagi ware ---
HUNDREDS of kilns make so-called Hagi-yaki, but only a few - fire the old-style wood-burning nobori-gama, or climbing kiln, a long, narrow structure built on a hillside consisting of several consecutive firing chambers. The fire is built in the first chamber, and the flames rise during firing through each chamber in succession. Results are unpredictable, and often the potter will discard a high percentage of the firing. The other types of kilns use gas or electricity, which, because they burn evenly and can be controlled thermostatically, produce more predictable results. Very few of these pieces must be thrown away because of flaws.
Senryuzan, the kiln of the Yoshiga family has four firing chambers (the uppermost one is used for bisque firing), each about 8 feet high, 8 feet deep and 15 feet long. According to Yoshiga Hatao, it is the largest in Hagi. Ido tea bowls, he says, are fired only once - the glaze is applied directly to the raw clay. They are placed in the back of the firing chamber, where the temperature is lowest and most difficult to control (sometimes not a single acceptable Ido bowl comes out of an entire firing). Other Hagi-yaki is fired twice, first without glaze (bisque fired), then glazed and fired again at higher temperatures. Vases and large jars, for which the Yoshiga are known, are fired at the front of the chamber, where the flames are hottest, and show the most contrast in texture and color. Hatao makes large exhibition pieces covered with an opaque white glaze blushed with pink, sometimes streaked with black.
As Yoshiga Hatao the Senryuzan's leader said to us: ''You have to live with Hagi-yaki to see its beauty. It takes time, but it is the time you give it that makes it worth the price.'' Whether or not this accounts for Hagi's high prices, perhaps more than any other of Japan's pottery, Hagi ware acquires what Japanese connoisseurs call ''aji,'' literally, flavor - a richness of texture and color that comes only with age and use. After you buy a piece, you still have a lot to look forward to.
|Diameter||2.7 inch (6.8cm)|
|Height||3.3 inch (8.5cm)|
|Origin||Made in JAPAN|
selling price: US$53.00
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