2 March 2023
What is Akae-Kinrande "Eiraku" Style?
Akae-kinrande is a gorgeous, sophisticated, and graceful style of Kutani ware. It has a gold design with a red background. Eiraku style was born from the beautiful fusion of fine red painting from the earlier Iidaya style with the elegant and sophisticated style of Kyo ware. The sensibilities of Kyo ware have been newly infused into styles of Kutani ware produced thus far.
Eiraku Wazen, the master craftsman who created this gorgeous technique, studied Kyo ware in Kyoto and generously passed on his skills to Kutani ware craftsmen. Eiraku-style pottery reflects the refined taste of Kyo ware, and its thin base is not as heavy and dull as conventional Kutani ware. Eiraku Wazen was also accustomed to using gold, and he established the Kinran-de style, in which red-painted pieces of pottery were decorated with only gold pigment.
Kutani Hongama Kiln and Eiraku Wazen
Kutani Hongama kiln succeeded Miyamoto Kiln, which was famous for its fine Akae-saibyo, and invited Eiraku Wazen from Kyoto in 1866 to be its technical instructor. He taught Kutani craftsmen all the techniques he had acquired in Kyo ware, and returned to Kyoto in 1870. Although the kiln was closed when Eiraku Wazen returned to Kyoto, local potters inherited the authentic techniques of Akae -saibyo–red pictures with intricate detailization–and Akae-kinrande–designs with gold on a red background. Here a number of masterpieces were produced and handed down to the next generation.