By Appointment is best. You might get lucky just popping by, but a great deal of the month I am out visiting artists or scouring up new items, so days in the gallery are limited.
In accordance with the request of local authorities our gallery in Kyoto will be closed from April 1st until further notice.
Everything You Need in Shigaraki by Furutani Hirofumi
Please refer to our stock # 1772 when inquiring.
sold, with thanks!
sold, with thanks!
An Amazing Shigaraki flattened form with offset neck covered in pools of liquid green crystal and dark encrustations of ash by Furutani Hirofumi, head of the Churoku-en. This piece truly shows the best of what Shigaraki has to offer, in the exposed raw terracotta clay, the molten ash glaze, the Hi-iro color of flame, and the build up of dark ash deposits. Every viewing angle is unique. This flattened form has been made by separating two slabs with a band of clay which has had feet and a wheel thrown neck added. Unlike others who have made similar shapes, Hirofumi offsets the neck in a refreshing way. The vessel is quite large at 36 x 13 x 41 cm tall (14 x 5 x 16 inches tall) and is in excellent condition, directly from the artist. It comes with a wooden placard signed by the artist and titled Shigaraki Shizen Yu Henko.
If you have never visited Shigaraki put it on the list. Downtown is pretty much Showa-Retro (a leftover from the Showa era) with rusting buildings stacked up with giant Tanuki sculptures and stacks of industrial grade ceramics. However, tucked in the middle is a small wood framed gallery, a real gem called the Churoku-en. The Churoku-en pottery was established by Furutani Churoku, and is now run by the second and third generation potters Furutani Hirofumi and his son Taketoshi. But they are rarely there, more often than not working at the family kiln which is out of the main business district. You will meet Hirofumis wife, a cherubic woman who will seem perhaps startled to see you but more than happy to show you around. The first time we met she seemed shocked to see visitors and I asked about that. She said: Most people do not come into our gallery.
I asked: Why is that?
She replied: There are no Tanukis out front, so it looks expensive!
We laughed about that and I remember it every time we meet. Her husband Hirofumi is the real deal, a Shigaraki potter trained under his father, recipient of generations of tradition and knowledge, who does not say much. Everyday you will find him in search of the natural phenomena which are born from his wood fired Anagama and Climbing kilns in the dialog between soil and flame and the elements. He does not compete or seek fame, just quietly makes pots in that very Japanese way, the path of the Unknown Craftsman.
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