Monday, December 16, 2013
Two weeks ago Stephanie and I took her friend Sarah to Tobe Yaki. Tobe, like Bizen, is a traditional Japanese pottery center. Tobe's style couldn't be more different than the dark reds, bronzes, and gold browns of Bizen's climbing kilns, but the feel is largely the same. Almost every home has some little ceramic detail, and every garage, livingroom, or back yard has some type pottery studio, collection of slip molds, or even a small kiln shed in the back yard. IT WAS GLORIOUS to see.
Simply the idea of an artistic community dedicated to preserving, promoting, and simutaniously modernizing local pottery traditions is like stepping into my dream list of job titles and making them materialize before my eyes. The Tobe Culture Center has a fantastic show room that takes you through the early traditions of the pottery, and also showcases the way the various artists and families of potters have changed the traditional forms and had fun with the glazes. Tobe is most well known for its navey blue brush work on white clay, but as you can see there are many takes on this old standard.