Karakusa Patterned Tea Pot by Nakata-gama
This tea pot was made at Nakata-gama, the kiln of Masataka Nakata, who works in the Tobe-ware tradition in Ehime. Tobe-ware - together with Kutani-ware in Ishikawa, Hasami porcelain in Nagasaki and largest of all: Arita-ware in Saga, is one of Japan’s traditions in white ceramics. It has its origins in the late 18th century, and the decisions of the feudal leadership of the Ōzu domain within Iyo province (modern day Ehime), to bring ceramicists from Arita to oversee the creation of porcelain kilns.
Tobe-ware continues to do this day as a cousin to Arita, but with its own distinct characteristics. Notably there are a high number of small, family run kilns, and a dedication to the traditional quality of hand painted blue on white pots for the home.
Masataka Nakata apprenticed at the largest kiln in the region: Baizan-gama, before establishing his own pottery works in 1974. From here, with a small staff, he has followed the ideal of classic Arita and Tobe inspired ceramics, but with a modern aspect that makes them loved in Japan today. His pattern work, all completed by hand, has its origins in what he sees as the untouchable excellence of the designs established over hundreds of year. He also brings something of the old sense of pre-modern porcelain by having impurities in the clay remain in the work. This gives his porcelain a connection to material that is often missing. With nothing printed or overly refined, but with the skill in creation on obvious display - the work at Nakata-gama reminds of the presence of humans in the making of ceramics, and is an antidote to the anodyne, and the mass produced.
Size: Diameter: 12cm, Spout diameter: 1.2cm, Height: 14cm (from the base, to the top of the handle = 19.5cm).