Characteristics of Japanese tableware/artist's utensils

When you look at Japanese tableware or pottery made by artists, if you look closely, you can feel the different expressions of each one. Iron powder was scattered like a mole, and the painting was slightly faded. Even if the plates are made by the same artist, each plate has a slightly different taste. However, this is the characteristic and charm of handmade pottery that cannot be found in mass-produced products. Here, we will introduce the characteristics often seen in such containers.


Hana Craft Ink Ink Rinka Plate Cracks that look like patterns on the surface of ceramics are called penetrations. Basically, pottery is made by applying a glaze to the base material (soil) and firing it in a kiln. At that time, the glaze melts and forms a glass-like layer that covers the base. After firing, the temperature of the pottery itself drops, but the degree of shrinkage at that time is different between the base material and the glaze, so if this difference is large, the glaze will harden with cracks. This is penetration. This is different from cracks that occur when the base material breaks, so you can use it with confidence as it will not leak or crack. The one in the photo shows the intrusions as a pattern. On the other hand, penetration may occur naturally as you continue to use the pottery, which is called age-related penetration. The reason for this is that when hot food enters the pot, the pot warms up and the soil expands. Earthen vessels (pottery) have coarse particles and a high expansion rate, so they tend to be easily penetrated. As the color of oil and food stains the incisions, the appearance of the uwa changes as it is used, and this is one of the characteristics of handmade uwa. It may feel similar to the discoloration of jeans. By using it more and more, you can enjoy growing it into your own unique pottery.


Konahiki small bowl with hand pottery Rie Shoji Organic matter (dust, etc.) left on the base during bisque firing may remain as small holes after firing. *This is the black dot on the handle in the photo. This is also one of the expressions that can only be created through the handmade process.

Iron powder

Straw ash oval plate pottery Rie Shoji When firing pottery, the iron originally contained in the clay oxidizes as it is fired in the kiln, and the black spots that appear on the surface of the pottery are iron powder. This is often seen in artists who use coarse soil that easily generates iron powder, and who value the texture and texture of the soil itself. By the way, mass-produced pottery uses clay whose iron content has been removed through refining at the soil stage, so there is not much iron powder produced.

Uneven glaze

Inka Mug Ash Pottery Kenichi Muso The glaze is carefully applied one by one by hand. Therefore, the glaze may not be applied uniformly, but this does not affect the quality. Traces of glaze flow and glaze pools have long been viewed as the ``scenery'' of pottery.

Bleeding, blurring

Mame plate iron wire pottery Aki Murata When applying patterns or paintings to pottery using inka (a technique for stamping a pattern onto a work), inhante (a method of stamping a rubber stamp with paint, etc.), or sometsuke, it is important to keep in mind the amount of force used during the work. This refers to bleeding or blurring that occurs due to factors such as the degree of application and factors during firing. Fading and shading can give a richer expression to the pottery, so it is often done on purpose.


Kinari Rim 5.5 inch plate Pottery Furuya Seisho The pale pink spots like the one in the image are called honte. This pink color is not due to pigments in the paint or glaze, but is a phenomenon that appears due to reduction firing. The origin of the name Gohonte (Gohonte) is said to have come from the fact that it was modeled after the Goryeo tea bowl (tea bowl with red spots), which was extremely popular in Japan from the Azuchi-Momoyama period to the early Edo period. The pattern is not something you can aim for, and because no two pieces are the same, it becomes the uniqueness of the pottery. In this way, the surface of pottery created by hand can undergo various changes due to internal factors (soil conditions and changes in the kiln) and external factors (temperature, humidity, etc.). Masu. Due to the characteristics introduced here, Utsuwa is unique and unique, and people in Japan have enjoyed the unique characteristics of Utsuwa since ancient times. When you hold a handmade pottery in your hands, it's fun to take a closer look and see what kind of characteristics it has. Our store is a mail order site that sells pottery made by artists. We sell pottery by popular artists who exhibit at pottery fairs and craft fairs across the country, so please take a look if you'd like. Enjoy pottery market Uchill at home