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

Kokontozai: KASHIYUKA’s Shop of Japanese Arts and Crafts / PORCELAIN

Something that adds a touch of luxury to the everyday, that carries the air of Japan about it. A thing that beckons you to use it. Shopkeeper KASHIYUKA set out across Japan to find such handiworks. Her first venture is to Kanazawa, the birthplace of traditional Kutaniyaki ceramic, and the studio of ceramicist Kiyoko Morioka.

“It’s like magic!” our shopkeeper exclaims, gazing intently at the potter on her wheel. A delicate curve is given the teacup’s trimmed and polished edge, so that even though it appears sharp, it touches the lips lightly.
“It’s like magic!” our shopkeeper exclaims, gazing intently at the potter on her wheel. A delicate curve is given the teacup’s trimmed and polished edge, so that even though it appears sharp, it touches the lips lightly.
At first glance, the set looks sharp and dignified, its cool beauty sent a tingle up my spine. Yet in hand, it feels tender and warm. The amazing part is holding it to the light and seeing it shine through. “I don’t use glaze,” Ms. Morioka told me, “I just buff the pieces with fine-grade sandpaper to a matte luster.” When I wondered if tea would infiltrate and stain the material, she told me there is zero penetration! Surface stains can be removed with a so-called “magic sponge” (melamine foam), and the pieces are even microwavable. Ms. Morioka explained that her aim was everyday use. “I was looking for craft ceramic to inhabit your daily life,” which is what I was seeking as well. Even more, a tea set that made you want to make tea, to savor the time in making it. Things that urge you to cherish your time in the moment are exactly what I look for.

She showed how she turns forms from clay on the wheel. My eyes fixed on the movement of the clay, how like a living entity it was… I suddenly understood the softness of it! When she studied the traditions of Kutaniyaki she didn’t follow the decorative route (befitting the common perception of Kutani ware), but trained as a “thrower”, an artisan who specializes in the wheel. This became clear upon seeing the work – it was amazing to see her turn even the tiny knob atop the lid.

In a spot full of natural light, you prepare your tea. Your eyes fall on this teapot, so thin and delicate the light pours through, and soon you’re transported to a precious place outside your usual self. This first “purchase” for the KASHIYUKA Marketplace is such a white porcelain vessel.
In a spot full of natural light, you prepare your tea. Your eyes fall on this teapot, so thin and delicate the light pours through, and soon you’re transported to a precious place outside your usual self. This first “purchase” for the KASHIYUKA Marketplace is such a white porcelain vessel.

Kiyoko Morioka

Born 1974, Kanazawa. Graduate, National Folk Art School in Holbæk, Denmark. Graduate study, Ishikawa Prefecture Institute of Kutani Pottery.

White Porcelain Teapot
Ushiro-de Teapot, from the “Hikari no Kokyu” (Breath of Light) series. Small, ¥11,000. Teacup ¥3,000.

Yuka Kashino (KASHIYUKA)

Yuka Kashino is a member of the techno pop group Perfume. She admires Japanese ceramics and traditional crafts, and has been known to line up in the early hours for a first glimpse of solo exhibitions by masters of the form. Perfume’s latest single, Mugenmirai released on March 14th, is the theme song of the new film “CHIHAYAFURU Part.3.” www.perfume-web.jp