Otani Shiro (1936-) - Sake Flask
Glazed ceramic (Shigaraki)
H: 13.2 cm (5 1/4 in) / D: 9 cm (3 1/2 in)
Otani Shiro studied with the Hibachi decorator Morioka, as the last of the old man's students and then worked for five years as a decorator of Hibachi on his own. Through Kumakura Junkichi's (1920-1985) introduction he was accepted at the Kyoto Ceramic Research Institute. In 1957 Otani came back from Kyoto and settled in Shigaraki, where he studied under Shimizu Uichi (1926-2004) a Living National Treasure. In 1972 finally he bought land in Kinose and built a house and a workshop with a wood burning kiln. In 1977 elected a permanent member of the Japan Traditional Handcrafts Association (Nihon Dento Kogei Kai). Otani Shiro was a member of the organising committee of the Shigaraki World Pottery Festival in 1989. In 1990 designated as an intangible cultural asset of Shigaraki.
Up until the mid-1970s his efforts were completely focussed on producing classic Shigaraki style works. However, in the ensuing period he increasingly sensed the necissity to develop his own handwriting as a potter. Imoprtant in thes context was the year spent at the Arrowmont Shool for Arts and Crafts at the University of Tennessee in 1980/81, where he built and fired his own Japanese style one-chamber kiln (anagama). (Schulenburg 2005, p.169)
Otani has taught and worked as an artist-in-residence at institutions throughout the world, including Arrowmont School for Arts and Crafts at the Univesity of Tennesee (see above), New York State University, West Georgia College, and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution.
Cleveland Museum of Art
Fogg Museum at Harvard University
Brooklyn Museum of Art
Museum of Art in Atlanta
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Original box with inscription: Shigaraki sake bottle (shigaraki tokkuri), signed and sealed by Otani Shiro