Fine Japanese art and tea implements

A Fantastic Oni Tamba Chawan by Masafumi Onishi


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Directory: Artists: Ceramics: Pottery: Bowls: Contemporary: Item # 1311480

Please refer to our stock # TRC1562 when inquiring.
Kyoto Ceramics and Fine Art
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Kamigamo District
Kyoto, Japan


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A relatively new term, “Oni Tamba” is used to describe works of Tamba-ware fired using carbon trap and ash glazing techniques modeled after those pioneered by Tsukigata Nahiko in the 1950’s. This piece in particular displays a bold and innovative ceramic landscape that seems quite impressive for such a young artist as Onishi. One side of the bowl resembles charred igneous rock while the front shows a warm soft orangish glow—like an ember in a fireplace. An unglazed patch on the front of the bowl serves as a decoration and shows the light-colored clay beneath the glaze.

Masafumi Onishi (1980 - ) is the 4th generation potter in his family and seems to be an up-and-coming talent on the Japanese pottery scene. The works he produces in the family kiln in Tamba are very functional and recently he is reported to be having difficulty keeping up with the demand from restaurants and drinking establishments as well as galleries. His most recent works seem to be mainly bold and modern looking guinomi that are created using wood firing and traditional techniques. From time-to-time Onishi also produces fine chawan like the one shown here on offer.

Tambayaki, with its origins reaching back as far as the end of the Heian Era or early Kamakura Period (1180-1230), is one of the six ancient pottery centers of Japan along with Seto, Tokoname, Shigaraki, Bizen, and Echizen. The pottery of Tamba is said to have an elegant simplicity and an understated beauty that stems from its calm simple lines. The hues of Tambayaki are drawn forth from the iron bearing clay by the flames of the traditional Anagama and the Noborigama (kilns). As a work of “Oni” Tamba, this chawan would have been produced in a small-batch anagama kiln.

This piece is 4.7 inches in diameter (12 cm) and stands 4.1 inches tall (10.4 cm). It bears the artist’s signature on the base near the outside edge of the kodai and comes with its own original box which also has the artist’s signature along with his official seal. In addition, there is a protective cloth and an insert in the box detailing the artist and his works. International shipping and insurance are included in the price.