This Kyo ware bowl was created by a Kyo ware specialist, Kyoko Kobayashi.
Kobayashi, based in Kyoto, aims to make modern Kyo ware using traditional ceramic techniques and Kyo ware painting patterns.
An elephant and a woman are painted in the center of this bowl. Elephants were first brought to Japan in the early 18th century from India. They became popular at that time and inspired artists to produce pottery and other works.
Diameter: 95 mm / 3.7 inches
Height: 38 mm / 1.5 inches
Weight: 125 g / 4.4 oz
Kyo ware (also known as Kyo-yaki or Kyoto ware) was first developed in the late 16th century in Kyoto. In the early 17th century, it was further developed when Chanoyu (Japanese tea ceremony) became popular and tea ceremony utensils such as tea bowls, tea containers, incense burners and incense containers were produced.
As Kyoto was Japan’s capital city, excellent clays and ceramic techniques throughout Japan were accumulated there. In addition, as court nobles, samurai warriors and wealthy individuals in Kyoto consumed high quality tea ceremony utensils, Kyo ware potters produced tea ware with elegant pictures and patterns that appealed to sophisticated and ornamental tastes.
In the late 17th century, Ninsei Nonomura expanded Kyo ware by establishing Iroe ware with bright colors and ornamental gold. Kenzan Ogata developed ceramic works with original, creative paintings in the early 18th century.
Kyo ware has been passed down through centuries and it continues to be one of the most popular ceramic wares in Japan.
Kyoko Kobayashi was born in Osaka (near Kyoto) in 1978. After graduating from Kyoto Seika University’s faculty of art (focusing on ceramic art) in 2001, she completed the Kyoto Prefectural Ceramics Training School’s ceramics design program in 2002. She was then apprenticed to Takano Shoami of Kyoto. She worked for Kyoto Higashiyama Josuitogaen from 2004 to 2018 and became independent in 2019.
Kobayashi won the Tachikichi Craft Competition’s Grand Prize in 2003, the Kyoto Traditional Craftsmen Association’s Chairman Award in 2014, and the Kyo Ware Sake Cup Competition’s Mayor of Kyoto Award in 2017.
She has held solo and group exhibitions regularly at art galleries in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Gifu.