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A mischievous bowl covered in dense ash by the late master Furutani Michio (1946-2000) enclosed in the original signed wooden box. The ash is so thick as to almost pacify the ragged clay surface; its resonant peaks still visible underneath where the clay is roughest. Inside dark charring scars the back of the bowl where flame licked the surface, and rivulets of crusty green vein the gray skin. The bowl is almost 9 inches (22 cm) diameter, over 3 inches (8 cm) to the rim. Three crispy spurs are visible from within, with three more discs of raw earth circling the foot ring. The artists signature is visible along the footring, on back of the bowl. 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.