An authentic Bizen Chawan (matcha bowl) by Kazuhiko Uchida.
Born in Shizuoka Prefecture in 1971. He grew up in Shizuoka before going on to University in Shimane Prefecture where he completed a postgraduate course. After completing his studies at University he decided to follow his dream of becoming a Bizen potter, so in 1998 he entered The Bizen Pottery Centre in Okayama Prefecture for one full year of training. For the two years after that he continued to study Bizen-Yaki, improve his pottery skills, and develop and master his own style.
Since 2001, he has entered his work into numerous exhibitions and in 2005 he became a fully independent Bizen-Yaki potter operating out of his own studio in Wake-Gun in Okayama Prefecture the home of Bizen-Yaki.
Clay & Kiln Information...
In order to achieve the desired color and texture for his pottery Kazuhiko Uchida uses his own unique mix of Bizen clay and clay taken from local mountains. It is 100% natural clay that he mixes himself. All of his clay forming is done on a potter's wheel. His pottery is wood-fired only once or twice a year in what is known as a climbing kiln (Noborigama in Japanese). Noborigama kilns (image of Kazuhiko Uchida's Noborigama kiln below) are a long standing traditional way of firing Bizen-Yaki. He fires his pottery for around 8-10 days with a total of around 500 bundles of red pine wood being used as fire wood. At its peak, the inside on the kiln can rise to temperatures of around 1230°C. After the firing there is a cooling down period where the kiln has to thoroughly cool down before pottery can be retrieved from the kiln. As you can imagine, after such a long firing process it is both a nervous and exciting moment to retrieve the pieces out of the kiln and view them for the first time.
|View/Landscape||Goma, Sangiri, Botamochi, Shisoiri, Kinsai|
|Kiln Type||Noborigama (Climbing, Wood-fired, Reduction)|
|Origin||Wake-Gun, Okayama Prefecture, Japan|