Small Bowl for Natto by Rui Fukuda
Ceramicist Rui Fukuda (sometimes written Loui Fukuda), works in the Shodai-ware tradition of Kumamoto on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu.
From her Mizuho-gama kiln, she uses the local clay and the straw ash and rice kernel glazes for which Shodai-ware is known. The forms she creates are wood fired in her anagama style traditional kiln.
Originality is present however, in the shapes that Fukuda makes. This can be in bold pattern work, and a particular use of the ‘shinogi’ technique of line carving. She is also known for her experiments in glaze that have yielded new blues and greys.
This piece demonstrates Fukuda’s imagination in crafting ceramics beyond the normal canon. This small bowl was made with the Japanese food natto in mind. The sticky fermented soy beans of Japanese breakfasts are often mixed with mustard - a procedure that could be completed with satisfying ease using chopsticks in a vessel of this shape.
While natto’s taste divides opinion, this piece has an unquestionable charm. Lighter shades seem to appear in the glaze like pixelated snow on its undulated rim. It could easily also be home to yoghurt or as a neat presentation for other foods too.
Its upper diameter is 11cm, while the unglazed kodai (foot ring) has a diameter of 5cm. The piece is 8.5cm high, and it weighs 225g.