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Japanese Mashiko Ware 益子陶器 Pottery Pair of Sake Cups by Famous Akashi Shosaku 翔明石
This Japanese Mashiko Pottery pair of sake cups was made by the famous Akashi Shosaku or '翔明石. Mashiko Pottery is considered a type of Mingei, or folk art pottery - ' 民芸 陶器'. This potter name is Sho Akashi 翔明石, his given name is Akashi Shosaku He is a very famous potter in Japan. According to my seller in Japan and a Japanese blog, he studied under the great Shoji Hamada who put Mashiko back on the map and made Mingei ware famous to the Western and European world. They think because of this, the work of Sho Akashi resembles the style of Shoji. This set represents two different styles of Sho Akashi. The all yellow cup reminds me a little of the yellow Seto with a light celadon glaze and intentional crazing called 'called Hibiyaki' .
These are hand formed on the potter's wheel then the lovely foot or kodai is cut out with a tool. It has a nice continuing pattern in intervals from being turned on the wheel, creating a graduated line all the way down the cup, simple beauty. We do not know what they use to color the glazes, similar to the persimmon glaze for which Mashiko is most famous. It does look like some of the persimmon glaze was used on the brown cup, and it is painted with a simple and subtly-blue, flower. Both pieces are signed with the potter mark of Sho Akashi, but I wanted to share the flower in the center of the yellow cup so I shared the best mark.
These wonderful folk art pottery sake cups are in excellent condition, no cracks, chips. They are about 30 years old. They come with the signed tomobako, or the box made and signed especially for this item and important to the value and life of Japanese art. I do not know exactly what it says where it is signed on the inside of the lid, but from what I learned in and according to one of Robert Yellin's articles, it most likely has the potter and kiln name. It also comes with the two-page biography written Japanese. , if there is software that can scan and translate, it should be able to handle this document. A wonderful pair of Mashiko Pottery sake cups, one is just a touch taller than the other.
SIZES: Both, Diameter: 2.8 inches or 7.11 cm, Height of one is 1.8 inches or 4.57 cm, one is just about one to two cm difference
The Potter Akashi Shosaku 翔明石
According to another U,S, website, Akashi Shosaku was born in 1946 in Mashiko, and studied with famous Shojo Hamada in 1962, before starting a prolific career. I am not exactly sure about the accuracy of the dating of one of these years and have him on my list of continued research. He is a recognized potter whose works have been selected many times at the National Ceramic Exhibition held every year in Japan. He became and is one of the popular potter's for Mashiko ware, having worked under Shōji Hamada. Shōji Hamada was a Japanese potter. He was a significant influence on studio pottery of the Mashiko village pottery, Japan, 1937
The city of Mashiko is known for its pottery, called Mashiko-yaki 益子焼. Early pottery in Mashiko dates back to the Jōmon and Yayoi periods. Mashikoyaki is often thought of as a simple and rustic in style, brown with maybe a little red glaze,but modern pottery made in Mashiko today is found in many styles, because of the creative freedom brought to Mashiko by Shoji Hamada.
is the renowned pottery production center which features an astounding 380 different styles. Mashiko is located in the southeastern part of Tochigi, and it falls in the Prefectural Nature Park which spreads across the northern reaches of the Kanto Plain. The town is known throughout Japan and the world as a production center of pottery.
The origin of Mashiko ceramics can be traced to the middle of the 19th century when Keizaburo Otsuka found potters clay at Otsusawa and built a kiln to fire it. At the beginning of the 20th century, ceramist Shoji Hamada also built a kiln in Mashiko. The number of potters in Mashiko has been increasing ever since, and it now amounts to 380. Ceramics fairs are held every spring and autumn, attracting visitors numbering in the hundreds of thousands.
Because books and books have been written about Mingei and without going into too much detail here, Mingei is the general term of the freestyle pottery that is not kept in the form of the tea ceremony.
Sharon's Recap of an Episode on 'Ceramics Treasures' on the NHK Channel from Japan re: Mashiko yaki -ATT HD Channel 1221- July 2016.
The gorgeous reddish brown glaze which makes Mashiko ware so fine is made from the persimmon. dried ground persimmon is mixed with the glaze to make this color. The making of Mashiko Ware remains very naturalistic to this day. There are over 400 kilns in Mashiko City. Millions of people come every year for the annual festivals. High temperatures and long time are used in the kiln to make Mashiko Ware. It is hand formed, even the chrysanthemum-like folds. Once mixed and prepared, the clay is hand formed, spun on the wheel, and the foot is cut out with a tool. It still amazes me how perfect the feet or kodai are, when hand formed and cut out with a metal tool. Wax is brushed on to cover areas while a piece is being glazed, to create the patterns. The plates or other wares can be dipped in the persimmon glaze, but one thing that Shoji Hamada brought was using the tea ladle to pour the glaze over a piece. The wax is then removed. It some styles, it is hand decorated with overglaze enamel, as in one of these. Mashiko Ware 益子陶器 is considered a 'Mingei' style of pottery.
We watch 'Ceramic Treasures' and a show called 'the Mark of Beauty' on NHK via ATT although we are getting ready to change because of the cost. There is a bit of conflicting information in the numbers, and because I am not sure which is correct, am leaving both pieces of information. For example, on the Ceramic Treasures show, the reporter stated the number of visitors at the fair was in the millions. Mashiko is a city near Tokyo, and I tend to think the higher numbers are more accurate. One may get lucky and find some of the shows on the NHK website from Japan from time to time, or maybe on the youtube website.
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