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Pale clay baked red with a dusting of natural ash glaze and small streaming rivulets complimenting the undulating ribbons billowing pell-mell from the top of this odd shaped sculptural vase by Kiyomizu Rokubei VII (1922-2006) enclosed in the original signed wooden box. The piece is 9 inches (23.5 cm) tall, 7-1/2 inches (19 cm) wide and in excellent condition. The Kiyomizu family potters managed one of the most productive workshops in Kyoto’s Gojozaka district from the second half of the Edo period. From the Meiji they began producing tableware for export and special pieces for government-sponsored exhibitions under Rokubei V. The workshop declined after World War II but was revived by Kiyomizu Rokubei VII, an adopted artist from Aichi prefecture. A graduate of the Tokyo University of Fine Art, he was a trained sculptor specializing in, in addition to clay, media like metal, glass, wood, paper and photography. Rokubei studied in Italy from the 1969-1970, and was a common contributor to the Nitten (under the name Hiroshi) Receiving the Hokuto-sho prize there and later serving on the selection committee. He is also well known for sculptures. He succeeded the family name in 1987 and also used the name Kyubei. Kiyomizu Rokubei VIII, is now head of the kiln. For more on this important artist see Contemporry Clay, Japanese Ceramics for the New Century by Joe Earle, ISBN O-87846-696-7.