This Japanese Yuteki black oil-spot glazed vase is signed on the bottom by inscription of an unknown craftsman and potter. I have spent the entire evening researching Yuteki and Tenmoku and find I have a new love in wares from Japan. The glaze design as compared to a similar piece by famous Haruhiko Kaneko discussed below is the 'oil-spattering' design. Of course, the vase would be handmade, and the small bulbous body is topped with the 'tsurukubi-hanaire' or the 'neck of a crane' vase. Basically, Yuteki tenmoku is a black glaze, containing iron, used to decorate many of the items produced beginning with the history of the Jian Kiln in China during the Song Dynasty. Unlike standard black glaze, made by combining pigment with hard iron and chrome oxide; for the tenmoku glaze only iron oxide was added to the pigment. After firing, the glaze would change colour at the edges, breaking into caramel brown, persimmon orange, or blackish brown. In the writer's discussion below, the name 'Black Beauty Iron Oil-Spot glaze' was given to ancient works and used by Dr. Decho's for his works with tenmoku. His most eye-opening comment is that these type works would have only been made by a renowned professional potter.
SIZE: Height 8.6 inches or 21.84 cm, Diameter at widest 4.3 inches or 10.92 cm, Weight 630 grams or 1.38 lbs.
This piece is young about 30-40 years old, and we do not yet know the potter. It is in excellent condition with no cracks, chips, or obvious surface wear. A very gorgeous Yuteki- Tenmouko Glaze Tsurukubi-Hanaire Vase.
What follows below are excerpts from the incredible websites of two very famous award winning potters about Tenmouko, and these were just the first two I came across that left me dreaming! We will see if they will allow us to add them to our 'Favorites' on our Homepage for the readers but they should not be too hard to find. This is just a small percentage of information from both sites.
Haruhiko Kaneko and Ishigaki-yaki
Seto and Ishigaki yaki
the Temmoku bowl was first reproduced in Seto region, which in present day is the Aichi Prefecture of Japan. Although now replicated the world over by renowned professional potters, these Black Beauty Iron Oil-Spot glazes of Tianmu or Temmoku bowls, are still considered among the most difficult to produce and still held in extremely high regard by the Chinese and Japanese.
Haruhiko Kaneko Current the most famous and awarded Japanese potter of Tenmouko, also known as the founder of Ishigaki-yaki Pottery Studio, Just a spattering of the information from his site 'Ishigaki-yaki', and a discusion on Yuteki Tenmouko:
Before kilns had access to high-performance technologies, it would have been extremely difficult, in terms of both the technical skill and the environment required, to create yuteki tenmoku pottery. Today, however, the findings of scientific studies on yuteki tenmoku have been widely published, and kilns have been developed which enable the potter to control the firing temperature with great accuracy. This has made it easier to ensure the right technical and environmental conditions to produce the floating oil-like spots which are characteristics of the yuteki glaze. But still yuteki tenmoku presents a considerable challenge, as a number of conflicting elements must be mastered if the technique is to be applied successfully: the depth of the black tenmoku glaze, its lustre, the intensity of the brilliant silver shine of the spots, the spot colour, the way the spots scatter and flow across the surface, and the light that reflects off the glaze. In the Ryukyu Islands, of which Okinawa is the largest, gusuku were castles and fortresses which began to be built from the 12th century onwards. In 2000, the Yaeyama Mainichi newspaper reported that tenmoku tea bowls had been discovered on Ishigaki island, one of the largest of the Yaeyama island group in Okinawa prefecture. -1-
2015 by Black Beauty Ancient Iron Oil-Spot Glaze
The following article excerpts are written by a potter named from the history portion of the above-titled article which is quite technical regarding how oil spot glazed pieces are made. I find it quite fascinating. I have quoted just selected portions of the long history of oil spot glaze. even though not a potter. Quote, 'Dr. Decho Chatrakul Na Ayudhya is the glaze master'. It is noted that he has trained all over the world in these practices including Japan, Thaoiland and the Phyillipines. He holds a PhD in Ceramics Technology from the "Ceramics Capital of the World", Stoke-on-Trent in England. The article closes by sharing his story of how he became fascinated with ancient iron oil-spot glaze and how, through decades of dedication, he mastered this ancient technique.
AND. as Quoted from on his site:
'The History of Itron Oil-Spot Glaze'
Given the complex and difficult process, it is astounding that these Black Beauty Iron Oil Spot Glazes were first produced over 1000 years ago, during the Song Dynasty ofA.D. 960 – 1279. This so-called ‘Jianzhan’ or ‘Jian ware’ was produced in a place called ‘Jianyang’ in the north of Fujian province, China. The main products were tea bowls. The ‘Hare’s fur’ tea bowls were the most popular items of Jian ware and were preferred for the tea-tasting contests prevalent in the Song Dynasty. Jian wares were mostly used for drinking tea, as the dark glaze allowed the foam of tea to stand out best against a dark bowl. Millions of Jian ware tea bowls were made through this period at various mountain kiln sites within a 50-mile radius of Shuji – with Jianyang being a particularly important Jian wares centre. The Northern Song emperor Huizong reigned from 1101–1125, was a lover of the dried, powdered tea from Fujian, which was frothy white when whisked in hot water. This tea came from the same region where the Jian ware tea bowls were produced.
In Japan, Jian tea bowls became known as ‘Temmoku’ ofas the Japanese pronunciation of Tianmu,. When Japanese Zen Buddhist monks visited temples on Tianmu Mountain ofa mountain between Zhejiang and Anhui Provinces, in China, these Jian tea bowls were often used to serve tea to the local and Japanese monks. In very early Japanese history, the Japanese Monks were so impressed with the Jian tea bowls that they took them back from China to Japan and named them ‘Temmoku’ bowls. Records show that the Temmoku bowl was first reproduced in Seto region, which in present day is the Aichi Prefecture of Japan.
Although now replicated the world over by renowned professional potters, these Black Beauty Iron Oil-Spot glazes of Tianmu or Temmoku bowls, are still considered among the most difficult to produce and still held in extremely high regard by the Chinese and Japanese. Please see more of this quoted article below about world renowned Dr. Decho Chatrakul Na Ayudhya, called 'the glaze master' by many. -2-
-1- Haruhiko Kaneko site is called Ishigaki-yaki blue, easy to find by searching on both names -2- The site of Dr. Decho Chatrakul Na Ayudhya can be found by searching on the title on this excerpt and the copyrighted site name,
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