Ceramist: Akio Momota
— Mr. Momota, please tell us about your thoughts on manufacturing.
Ever since I started making pottery when I was around 20 years old, I have approached pottery with the desire to ``create something that only I can'' through my thoughts and expressions. At first, it was just my imagination and I couldn't master the technique, but I just kept making things and making mistakes over and over again, and finally, around the age of 40 , I was able to get closer to the shape I wanted.
As I pursued things that only I could make, the shapes changed over the years, and I always pursued a pale blue glaze, but from there I started using a variety of glazes. As the amount of glaze increases, the idea of ``I want to pour this kind of glaze on this kind of shape'' comes to mind. That's how the shape and glaze grew.
I'm not good at pursuing one thing forever with the image of being a "craftsman." I have a strong desire to do things and always want to take on new challenges, which may be a weakness, but it seems to be linked to my strong desire to express myself.
-Please let us know if there are any people or things that have influenced your work.
I am inspired by nature such as the sky, soil, and plants. Nothing can match the beauty of nature. My works are also one-of-a-kind, and just as no two pieces are the same, nature changes every day. In that sense, I am most influenced by nature.
-What kind of work are you currently focusing on?
-What kind of work would you like to create in the future?
I would like to pursue more one-of -a- kind items. What you want to do may not have changed from when you first started. I'm constantly working on raising my level. When you try your first kata, there are a lot of cracks and failures, so it takes a lot of time, so you can really train your mental strength ( lol ) . However, I want to continue to take on challenges without giving up.
-What does Arita ware mean to Mr. Momota?
History of Arita ware
Arita ware is a type of porcelain that represents Japan and is painted with colorful paints. It has a long history, dating back 400 years. In 1616 , Yi San- pyeong (Japanese name: Kingae Sambei), a potter brought back by Nabeshima Naoshige of the Saga domain during the Bunroku-Keicho era by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, was sent to Arita Izumiyama as raw material for porcelain. The discovery of high-quality pottery stone is said to be the beginning of Arita ware.
Arita ware is characterized by the use of somemetsuke, which is painted with an indigo pigment called gosu, and overglaze painting, called iroe, on the transparent white porcelain surface. Characterized by bright colors. It is highly durable and has been used to produce a variety of items, from works of art to daily necessities. “Overglaze” is the process of applying a design to the surface of glazed and fired porcelain.In contrast to “underglaze,” which involves applying a design before applying the glaze, it is called “overglaze” because it is painted over the glaze layer. It is said to be ``upper picture''. In addition, while the ``under-glaze'' is painted with indigo-colored gosu, the ``over-glaze'' is painted in a variety of colors.
Arita ware, which has been perfected over a long history, is generally divided into three styles: ``Old Imari style,'' ``Kakiemon style,'' and ``Nabeshima domain kiln style.''
"Old Imari style"
This is a style produced in Hizen Arita during the Edo period that uses rich dyeing and rich red and gold paint called kinrande. At that time, these porcelains were shipped from the port of Imari, adjacent to Arita, hence the name. Kinrande is a piece of colored porcelain decorated with gold paint or gold powder, creating a gorgeous pattern.
It is characterized by overglaze colored paintings called ``Aka-e'', which are painted in bright colors such as red, blue, green, and yellow on a milky white base called Nigoshide. It was also called the ``beauty of white space'' because of the generous amount of white space in the composition. Kakiemon-style vessels developed rapidly as colored porcelain for export, and many pieces made their way to Europe, and many imitations were made in Meissen kilns in Germany.
"Nabeshima clan kiln style"
It is characterized by its bluish background, comb height, and back pattern. The techniques include ``Colored Nabeshima'', which is based on dyeing and the three colors of red, blue, and green, ``Ainabeshima'', which is elaborately painted in indigo blue, and ``Nabeshima Celadon'', which is a natural blue-green color. Among them, ``Colored Nabeshima'' with an overglaze picture was used as tableware for the lord of the Saga domain and as gifts to various feudal lords and the shogunate. It can be said that the unique beauty of style was achieved because it was a domain kiln, and Ironabeshima, which brought together the best of the techniques of the time, boasts beauty that is representative of Arita, along with the Kakiemon style.
The difference between Imari ware and Arita ware is that porcelain made around Arita Town, Saga Prefecture is called Arita ware. During the Edo period, porcelain fired in Arita was exported from the port of Imari (Imari City), next door to Arita, so it spread throughout the country under the name Imari ware (Imari ware = Arita ware). Later, after the Meiji period, porcelain made in Arita came to be called Arita ware, named after the place where it was produced. Additionally, the term ``Old Imari'', which is often heard in antiques, refers to Arita ware made in the Edo period, and now Imari ware is made in Okawachiyama, Imari City.
Today, the town of Arita is dotted with many potteries, and even has a vocational school for learning pottery called the Ceramics College, with the aim of nurturing the next generation of potters. In addition, mining at Arita Izumiyama (Izumiyama, Arita Town, Saga Prefecture) has almost disappeared, and Amakusa pottery stone has become the mainstream in Kumamoto Prefecture, where it is easier to use.
*Bunroku/Keichō no Eki During the six years from 1592 to 1598 , Toyotomi Hideyoshi conquered the Ming Dynasty (present-day China). The war was aimed at invading Korea (present-day South Korea, North Korea). The first battle is called the ``Bunroku no Eki'' ( 1592 - 1593 ), and the second battle is called the ``Keicho Era'' ( 1597 - 1598 ). The battle ended in 1959 with the death of Toyotomi Hideyoshi .
Introduction of restaurants used by customers (partial introduction)