This Shigaraki teapot is an exquisite glossy shade of reddish-brown and features a skillfully applied green ash glaze. Because this pottery is fired in a wood-fired Anagama kiln, there are plentiful particles (known as fly ash) that present on the surface of the clay. This very old manufacturing technique gives the piece both visual depth and texture. The bottom of the teapot is unglazed, so take care to protect any scratchable surface with a mat or pad when setting this teapot down.
On a larger-capacity Japanese teapot such as this one, the handle is often placed so that it arcs over the opening of the teapot. This is known as a dobin-style teapot. Usually such a handle is made from a simple length of compressed bamboo.
The bamboo handle on this teapot is comfortable to hold and pouring is quite easy. A ball-shaped strainer is built into the snout of the pot to keep tea leaves from exiting the teapot.
The shape of this teapot is of classic proportion aesthetically; however, it is meant to be used, so pours well and is easy to maintain.
Shigaraki is one of Japan’s Six Ancient Kilns and has been a center for pottery production since the 5th century. It is located near Lake Biwa (Japan’s largest freshwater lake), in Shiga Prefecture. Traditional Shigaraki clay is low in iron and contains a fair amount of feldspar and quartz-rich pegmatite particles. In the kiln, this clay fires to warm pink and red-brown hues and green to grey ash glazes often form. During the firing the pegmatite particles often rise to the surface, where some burst open creating small crevasses while others remain intact as white textured particles. This highly prized effect is known as an ishihaze.
Slight variations in the painting, colors, tooling, patterning and kiln effects of Chinese and Japanese teawares are to be expected. We have carefully photographed this item as best as possible – please be aware that different device screens can render colors and subtle tones slightly differently.
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