One highlight of my recent visit to Japan was a day trip to Tokoname where a group of us visited several well-known kilns. Our first stop – the Koyo kiln.
Koyo – the kiln established in 1970 by Kouichirou Aiba, is best known for its glazed pots. Today the kiln is run by Aiba’s son, Kuniaki (see a more complete version of the story at Japanese Bonsai Pots Blog).
Walking into Aiba’s shop, we found the usual assortment of glazed Koyo pots. Mixed in with these were smaller accent containers.
After a bit of shopping, were were invited to tea. As we sat down, we appreciated the many small containers lining the walls.
Very small pots
That’s when the fun began. In the next room over, we found a gallery with some very interesting pots – pots that were quite unlike those for which the kiln was so well-known. What made these containers fun were details ranging from novel shapes and glazes to tiny squid found on the inside of a shallow pot.
Blue glazed oval with large lip
Blue glazed rectangle
Green glazed rectangle
Blue and yellow glazed pots – family portrait in background
Metallic gold pot
Red glazed rectangle
Blue glazed round pot
One unglazed square pot caught my attention as it was made in a traditional style, but not one that I’d expect to come from the Koyo kiln.
Before heading out, we took a detour into the warehouse and kiln room.
The Koyo kiln
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David Johnson says
I love Koyo pottery. I have a number of them. Looking for a red one from the past. Keep up the good work. Thank you for making this visual tour of the their work and kiln possible.
Jeremiah Lee says
Love Koyo pots, thanks for the pics!