12 July 2023
Glimpses into the Traditional Styles of Cuisine Ware
Handmade cuisine ware is a manifestation of the spirit and culture of nature, life and the sympathetic emotion of artisans who speak little themselves. The craftspersons are silent and concentrated, but when we look at the delicate and exquisite ceramics, we realize that each ceramic dish and bowl possesses a strong, passionate emotion of our humanity.
What is Japanese porcelain ware? Is it about the charming, decorative paintings? Or the technique of molding and precision of craftspersons preserving a long history of East Asian art? Many people feel an emotion of peace and comfort, whether it's a monotone dish of celadon blue, or a fabulous wine cup, painted with pink flowers with a contour of golden lines.
As a writer myself traveling around various kilns in Japan, this article will introduce to you the diverse variations in style, texture and colors of porcelain ware and other cuisine ware throughout the country. Giving you a glimpse of the rich world of fine craft.
Writer and Editor of MUSUBI KILN.
He studied classical Japanese literature at university, and practiced the art of Noh drama. His interests are East Asian art and literature.
- The Glare of Black Lacquer
- Into the Depths of Coal-Dark Iron
- Warm Colors of The Soil
- The Energy of Vibrant Brush Strokes
- The Serenity of Fine Turquoise Celadon
- Exquisite Beauty of Fine Paintings
The Glare of Black Lacquer
In Japanese cuisine, we find delicately crafted dishes. Fish and vegetables are served fresh, and our hearts are delighted by its beautiful expressions.
Little appetizers are often presented on a square tray made of wood; the wood is covered in luminous black lacquer. On the lacquered surface are fine golden drawings, illustrations of flowers and birds. Often these little animals and foliage are hidden beneath, giving us a little surprise when the dish is finished.
Ritsuzan Tomita Pine Echizen Lacquerware Side PlateView Item
The plates of black lacquer are light as air, contrary to the luminous and profound dark tone of the surface. The depths of darkness and the reflections of light blending together are forever instilling a profound feeling, despite the small size and light body of its physical presence before us.
Into the Depths of Coal-Dark Iron
In the cold scenes of winter, perhaps for a cup of hot tea, we are served by a Cast Iron Kettle made of black iron of the north. The heavy iron illuminates light reflecting the fire or sunlight entering the room. The hand-applied fine dots on the surface of the iron, are images of showering hail. The darkness and glare of iron, my fingers contour the handle's smooth polished finish.
Arare Nambu Ironware Cast Iron KettleView Item
Warm Colors of The Soil
In stoneware or porcelain, the base color be it the milky white, or the sympathetic yellow of a young cheese, it's no surprise that people seeking for serenity and peace in their daily affairs, find nostalgic comfort in looking at these earth-toned stonewares.
Tosen Kiln Wind God Thunder God Stoneware PlateView Item
Twin Sparrows Kutani Japanese Rice BowlView Item
The rice bowl, the brown clay melts into the glaze, the ink and glaze solidify, forming an arbitrary and free pattern.
The Energy of Vibrant Brush Strokes
Ceramic ware from pastoral regions, in keeping with the demands of everyday life, is made thicker and stronger, and has a heavy weight, pattern and texture of a healthy and robust physique. The lines and brushstrokes are a sign of bold, fluid, and hearty productive energy. We are reminded of the landscape of farms and mountains, of rice farmers, under a clear, cloudless sky.
Mino Ware, Plates and BowlsView Collection
Tobe Ware, Plate and BowlView Collection
The ink, made from iron minerals, is painted onto small white plates, showing a rhythmic yet natural pattern, each grass, each petal, each line of a square. The charming bowls and plates make us imagine the craftsperson in the remote towns in the countryside, working silently in his painting of lines.
The Serenity of Fine Torquoise Celadon
Kyo Ware, Soryu Kiln, Celadon Tobikanna, Bowl and PlateView Collection
Why do we feel calmness and serenity when we look at celadon? The colors are rarely the same for each kiln. Be it blue, it is initially an idea inside the artisans' dream. The finished porcelain ware shows perfect blue like a materialized dream. It has a restrained brilliance, a blend of shadows that gives a deep, meditative impression, the blue illuminating a sympathetic emotion.
Exquisite Beauty of Fine Paintings
Arita Porcelain Lab Yazaemon Lace Cut BowlView Item
The shine of a white color, gives us a limpid and beautiful light. The straight red lines and curves blend with the herbal paintings of green and blue. These dishes share with us the vitality and creative hope of artisans to explore their potential. We feel in these extravagant designs the vital energy of artisans from cities, centers of culture.
A brief scroll through some of the traditional styles of our country's porcelain, stoneware and lacquerware. One needs not be acquainted with the knowledge of fine art to appreciate them. It is enough for our human senses of touch and the eye to perceive and feel the vibrant energy of every craft, delicately made by artisans who speak liittle themselves.