Posts Tagged 'porcelain'

Pottery Market in Kyoto

One benefit of living in Kyoto is that there’s always something to do. One could spend years just trying to see all the incredible cultural sites the city is packed with. Cultural events of all sorts are also plenty.

So a couple of weeks ago, I found myself heading to the Kiyomizu Pottery Market. Held every year in the Kiyomizu pottery district on the slope of Higashiyama, in the eastern part of Kyoto, this market features artists and galleries that specialize in the Kiyomizu-yaki style. The pottery district itself is home for more than 80 potters of various styles, their workshops and kilns.

The name for this peculiar style comes from the Kiyomizu temple, where potters workshops concentrated around the 15th and 16th centuries.

Though it undertook a lot of changes through its evolution, the origin of the Kiyomizu pottery can be traced back to the 5th century, when potters in the Higashiyama area started to make earthenware using kilns. Techniques involving colors were only introduced around the 14th century, probably as an import from mainland China. It is around the same time that overglazing techniques appeared,  giving luster to the finish piece after firing. All these technical evolutions led to a refined style of porcelain, characterized by bright colors and detailed patterns during the  Edo period (1600-1868).

After filling my eyes with all these traditional beauties, I was about to call it a day and jump in the bus back home, when I found a stall where a young woman was selling her more modern-looking pieces. Rice and tea bowls, little plates, all white with delicate and naive abstract details in indigo blue. Very light, sweet, playful. Unfortunately I hadn’t my camera with me so I can’t show them to you…

And there were these : candy-colored porcelain buttons and brooches in all their sweetness ! How could I resist ?!…well, I didn’t, and those little guys got back home with me !

I don’t know yet what I’m going to do with these pretty buttons, but maybe pendants or a necklace. For now, they are resting gently on my desk, in all their prettiness, and they make me very happy !

Have a nice day everybody !


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