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Ash encrusts one side of this flattened Signature form by Shigaraki Legend Furutani Michio enclosed in the original signed wooden box. Opposite is rich red terracotta and in between rivers of molten green glass. It is 45 cm (17-1/2 inches) diameter, and weighs 14 kg (30 pounds) plus the thick Kiri-wood box. This belongs in a museum of contemporary Japanese pottery.
Furutani Michio is one of the Gods of Shigaraki, an artist who wrote the book on Anagama kilns, and one of the more influential artists of the second half of the 20th century. He was born in Shigaraki; graduating the Konan High School of industrial Arts, he moved to further his studies (like so many great artist before him, Kanjiro, Hamada…) at the Kyoto Institute of Industrial Arts in 1964. After breaking out on his own, he started by building an Anagama in Shigaraki in 1970, the first since the middle ages. He was a true pioneer, reviving the tradition and going on to build over thirty kilns over the next thirty years. No other artist has shown such singular dedication to a firing technique. He has been featured in the Nihon Dento Kogei Ten (Japanese Traditional Crafts Exhibition), Nihon Togei Ten (Japanese Ceramic Exhibition) and the Chunichi Kokusai Togei Ten among others. He passed away at the peak of his career. For more on this artists contributions see his book Anagama – Building Kilns and Firing.