Shigaraki has been one of the great centers of Japanese ceramics for about 800 years. The clay of this district is light colored and contains tiny bits of feldspar that explode on the surface of the pots during firing. Whereas glazed ware may be fired in a kiln for about 30 hours, unglazed Shigaraki ware is fired for five days or more. Any apparent color on the surface of the work is entirely from the fly ash and flames within the kiln. Knowing how to manipulate that natural environment into a work of art, depends on the skill of the artist. Otani Shiro is a visionary and leader whose creativity has greatly expanded the Shigaraki tradition into the 21st century. His works are in the permanent collections of museums around the world, including the Boston M.F.A., the Freer & Sackler Galleries at the Smithsonian and the Museum of Arts and Design (formerly the American Craft Museum.) In this recorded conversation, author, lecturer, ceramics expert and gallery owner, Robert Yellin discusses six of Otani-san's works, in the order they appear in this post.
Click on the play button to hear Robert Yellin's commentary on the following photos.
Additional Otani Shiro images
- Seijinshiki January 12th, 2009–Happy Birthday!
- 1st Generation Yakitori Master