This Japanese Shigaraki Ware Pottery of a Gourd is very different than most Shigaraki we have seen, with the traditional Shigaraki pottery and brown on bottom, it is glazed green on top. Of course, this piece is handmade and hand glazed. A very natural form of Hyotan is hand molded or made by or tebineri. It is hand glazed by the potter. On the top of the gourd is found a ribbon tied, and a design that looks like a harp but we believe it is the potters mark, now that we have looked again. A kogo is a box most often used for placing incense in at the tea ceremony. The traditional method is to hand roll the incense balls and place them in the kogo. Kogo make wonderful decorative items and small boxes for storing other small items, we have them all over our home. Sharon has a huge passion for these little pieces of art, and no matter how many we have, we just seem to add more. The hyotan is a staple not only in Japanese food, but in Japanese art. And, many myths and folklore surround the gourd not only in Japan but around the world. In Japan, the gourd also symbolizes signified happiness or success to people. Their humorous shapes have also always been thought of with affection. There are many sayings in Japan using the word hyotan. A set of three gourds are a good luck symbol in Japanese. It means a great person all-round. And, a set of six gourds is even luckier, because mu-byou means no sickness. Gourds also remind us of Hideyoshi Toyotomi of the 1500's. One of the most well-known historical samurai heroes. Hideyoshi’s battle ensign was a gourd motif. He would add further gourd motifs to his ensign every time he won a battle. This great kogo has no visible damage, cracks or scratches and is said to be about 30 years old by the seller in Japan. It is in very good condition and a very nicely made piece of Shigaraki ware pottery.
Width 3 " or 7.5cm, Depth 1.7" or 4.2cm, Height 1.6" 4 cm
Shigaraki 信楽 Pottery History
Shigaraki ware is pottery and stoneware made in Shigaraki area, Japan. The kiln is one of ‘The Six Old Kilns’ in Japan. Although figures representing the Tanuki are a popular product included as Shigaraki ware, the kiln and local pottery tradition has a long history.
The local sandy clay from the bed of Lake Biwa has a warm orange color, and makes very durable pottery. This clay characterizes Shigaraki ware. The ceramics have irregular contours and an archaic flavor. Firing technique shifted from reduction to oxidation firing, which allows free admission of air during the firing rather than limited air admission into the kiln. This allows iron oxides to be used as part of the coloring process. The allowance of free air is due to the type of ancient kiln, called an anagama kiln, which is used to fire Shigaraki ware. Excerpts about Shigaraki pottery are from Wiki. See more interesting stories of the well known Shigaraki Pottery in our new Favorites Link on our homepage for The Shigaraki Cultural Ceramic Park.
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