Gifts Today magazine

Bizen Pottery comes to Reiko's store

The historic Bizen Pottery collection is the latest oriental find to be added to Reiko Kaneko’s Japan Store

Pursuing her own personal interest in Japanese crafts, in particular ceramics, Reiko Kaneko’s Japan Store has begun to curate a small collection of traditional Japanese crafts for sale via her website, distributed from her UK studio in Stoke-On-Trent.

The latest oriental find to be added to Reiko's Japan store is the historic Bizen Pottery collection.

The glaze-less, iron-rich pottery of Bizen dates from the 6th Century. It’s made from the clay of the paddy fields of Inbe, the village where most Bizen potters live and work. Over 280 potters still work in this historic Japanese country village, surrounded by mountains and overshadowed by the Shinkansen bullet train line.

The Bizen pottery craftsmen take pride and time in creating their pottery with an almost ceremonial-like process. Having placed their vessels in the kiln, the artisans then work in shifts to keep the logs burning for two weeks day and night.

The high iron content in Bizen clay gives it its traditional red base colour. The unique and various patterns that form on the pottery are created by the slow increase of temperature in the wood-fired kilns, which can reach as high as 1250°c. This high temperature causes the ash from the pine tree logs to disintegrate and a chemical reaction turns it into glass, producing earthenware that is incredibly hard. You will never see the same pattern in any Bizen pottery. Basic simplicity, warmth, and the feel of the earth: these are the key facets to the love of Bizen.

Pieces found in the Japan Store collection include various shaped and sized Vases, Mini Jugs, Rice Bowls and Tea Cups. Prices from £15 to £370.
www.reikokaneko.co.uk/japan-store



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