The nature of the clay is essential to the feel of my work. Most of my clay is dug from the mountains and rice fields around Bizen, in Okayama prefecture. I process the raw clay myself and continually experiment to achieve an expressive clay body. The processing of the clay is a time consuming activity, but responsible in large part for the character of the finished work.
Most of my work is made on the wheel, either thrown or using a combination of coiling, pinching, paddling and throwing techniques. Different ways of making can give a very different feel to a pot. My forms are influenced by the great Momoyama period traditions, but are also personally expressive and made with a modern lifestyle in mind.
I fire solely with wood for about seven days in a semi-underground anagama. Firings usually take place in the spring and early autumn. Months of work are carefully stacked in the kiln, and the stacking itself is a vital part of the creative process. Once the top temperature of over 1200C has been reached the kiln is left to cool for a week before being unloaded and the pots cleaned up.
All my work is made for use. The natural colours and tones of Bizen lend themselves to the serving and appreciation of food, flowers and drink, and the ability of Bizen ware to keep water fresh is well known. No special care is needed regarding use, although if not used for a long time it is recommended to wash the pot and leave it to dry in the sun before being used for food or drink.
Pots come alive when they are used, and will slowly develop a great depth of colour and softness as they are used over time.