Bizen Ware Potter / Naoe Koide
Naoe Koide, Bizen Ware Potter
小出尚永 備前焼 岡山県牛窓町
“There is a certain clay that once we see it we are irresistibly drawn to it and cannot help but reach out and touch it,” remarks Naoe Koide, Bizen Ware Potter, who is fascinated by the raw material he works with.
Since he was a child Koide has always enjoyed working with his hands and producing a variety of items, so it was quite natural for him to turn towards Bizen Ware, the oldest form of Japanese Pottery with over 1,000 years of tradition behind it.
One of the distinguishing characteristic of Bizen Ware is that it is unglazed earthenware, called yakishime. As the clay is left unglazed, a unique texture appears from the minerals or impurities that remain in the clay when they are fired in the extremely high temperatures of a kiln. These minerals and impurities burst forth in completely unexpected ways on the surface of the pottery and create what we know as Bizen Ware. That is what Koide wants to express on his finished work- the raw attractiveness of the earth.
Bizen guinomi sake cup / 備前 ぐい呑 / 5×9×8.8（h×w×d）
Bizen guinomi sake cup / 備前 ぐい呑 / 5.2×6×6.2（h×w×d）
Bizen Handleless Tea Pot & guinomi sake cup / 備前 宝瓶＆ぐい呑 / 9.6×12.3×9.8 4.3×9.2×8.4（h×w×d）
Bizen Pitcher / 備前 水差 /
All items come with a customized kiri wood box, wrapping cloth, and a note. It takes about one month to prepare them after confirmation of an order.
Bizen Ware is perfect medium to express the blessings of nature itself as it comes from the combination of nature’s most basic elements, fire and earth. Koide is always reminded how Mother Nature shows its generosity to us in the variety of the forms of the rich clay he works with. Making earthenware-style pottery brings him untold joy as he comes across different types of clay every time.
Among the various works which he creates, plates, cups, bowls, or vases, there may be only one in a thousand that he will be truly satisfied with. He struggles with the clay and battles with the flames of his kiln out of single-minded desire to produce such a piece.
Even when looking at just photographs, and seeing the smoothness of the clay, the energetic dancing of the flames, you can get a sense of the dynamism and vibrancy contained in the work he has created. So, imagine the feeling when you are holding it in your hands.