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Bizen ware potter, Ichiro Mori

Ichiro Mori is a Bizen ware artist. When I first visited his shop, Jazz music was playing inside the shop, which used to be a kimono shop.

His works have the texture of Bizen soil. I talked to him about the characteristics and uses of teapots for Chinese tea, and asked him to make a horizontal pot type teapot.

The reason I decided to ask for help was because of the jazz that was playing in the store. Jazz has a good taste in a Japanese house made of wood and tatami. I thought that might be enough. When I talked to him, Mr. Mori was flexible and a very kind person.

It doesn't seem like we'll be able to build a good working relationship with a scary person with furrowed eyebrows. If such a person were to make a teapot, even the tea would become bitter. I think personality is important.

Preparing the soil is said to be very important in Bizen ware. Apparently, the soil is so important that if the soil preparation goes well, most of the work will be completed.

There are many types of clay for Bizen ware. Potters use different clays or mix them together. For each potter, the clay is different. The individuality of the potter is reflected in the work through the texture of the clay.

This clay is used for making teapots.

When water is added to this and it is strained or kneaded, it becomes clay. The next image is the teapot before being put into the kiln.

This is the straw used to make Hidasuki, which is a traditional technique of Bizen ware. This is wrapped around a teapot, and after firing, the wrapped area turns reddish brown.

His teapots are fired in climbing kilns. Firing a kiln requires a large amount of firewood. Since pottery is made using natural resources, I think it should be used with care and for a long time.

This is a climbing kiln. The kiln is usually fired twice a year. Preparation takes a lot of time and effort. The potters take turns watching the firing of the kiln, which lasts several days.

The temperature inside the kiln can reach up to 1200℃. If you add firewood at the wrong time, the temperature will not rise as expected. This is a task that requires experience.

His workshop is located in a place surrounded by mountains and rich in nature.

There are various types of teapots made at his workshop, depending on the technique, such as Hidasuki, Sangiri, and kiln change. Each one is unique and no two will look the same. This is a wonderful teapot where you can feel the nature of Bizen.

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