Kokontozai: KASHIYUKA’s Shop of Japanese Arts and Crafts /[MORNING CUP] | ページ 2 | カーサ ブルータス Casa BRUTUS

Kokontozai: KASHIYUKA’s Shop of Japanese Arts and Crafts /[MORNING CUP]

『カーサ ブルータス』2021年5月号より

Searching all of Japan for handcrafted items that express its heart and soul, our proprietor, KASHIYUKA, presents things that bring a bit of luxury to everyday life. This was her encounter with Shussaigama earthenware in Izumo, Shimane prefecture; a refreshingly beautiful and life-affirming group of objects that imbue the modern lifestyle with Mingei inspiration.

“The earth radiates warmth to my hands,” observes KASHIYUKA.
The wall bears a verse on work and craft by the venerated ceramicist Kanjirō Kawai of the 20th century Mingei traditional crafts movement.
“Work is more fun if one takes it all the way from start to finish,” says Mr. Tatano.

As an example, here was an artisan whose career spanned 28 years working on a mug known as the “morning cup”. He showed me how he applied the handle using what is referred to as the “wet handle” technique, taught by the master, Bernard Leach. He first wets his hands and grabs a lump of molten clay, fashioning it into a strip. The strip is attached to the cup, and then, with a quick swish, he inscribes a line into it with his thumbnail. This line strengthens it and makes it easier to hold, it was explained. Another characteristic of this handle is the finger-hold, resembling a tail. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they never use readymade handles, but craft every one according to their feel for the piece.
Applying the handle with a technique taught to them by the British potter and teacher Bernard Leach.
Lovely hues are achieved, such as a soft white with clear glaze over white slip, and a special blue known as “Shussai Blue”.
I then went to the showroom alongside the studio and saw the cups all lined up, and wondered how it is that these cups all share a uniform feel, though they’re crafted by a crew of people of all shapes, sizes and physical dispositions and habits?
The kiln, a type called nobori-gama, has been in continuous use since 1966.
Glazes are prepared in-house using natural ingredients.
“Maybe because they’re all working side by side in the same space, and the feeling of each one’s work carries over a bit to the next…” says Mr. Tatano. Bearing these words in mind I made my purchase this time of a white Morning Cup. It’s lighter than it looks, and with my thumb on the finger-hold, even when it’s filled with tea it feels stable. With its mellow appearance and the ease of holding it, I’m guessing I may be using it every day from now on.

Morning Cup by Shussaigama

Right / White glaze, approximately 9 cm in diameter, 8.3 cm tall. ¥2,750. Left / Cat Bowl – black glaze, height, 16 cm. ¥6,600 Shussaigama – 3368 Shussai, Hikawa-cho, Izumo-shi, Shimane. TEL 0853 72 0239. There's a showroom and shop as well. Closed Tuesdays, unless the Tuesday is a holiday. Studio tours available.

Yuka Kashino, known as KASHIYUKA, is a member of the electro-pop group Perfume. "Perfume Closet" Vol. 5 Phase 2 is on sale now. She goes to "necoto" for all things for her beloved cat. Website:www.perfume-web.jp