Wali Hawes 1952 - 2014
                          pottery and more!

Wali Hawes Potter's Diary

The Six Ancient Kilns

Over the Christmas Season I took the opportunity of making a trip to Tanba-One of The Six Ancient Kilns of Japan. The others being Tokoname, Seto, Shigaraki, Eichizen, Shigaraki and Bizen. I would happily substitute Bizen for Iga. Incidentally this designation or al least the basis on which it stands has begun to be questioned as many other pottery centres can also be classified as Ancient Kilns. Anyway, I digress. I have been to all the other sites (and exhibited in three of them!) but Tanba had always been out of my grasp. A 200 km three hour drive finally found us in an area dotted with "jagamas" (almost coming out of our ears!) and smoke billowing out from one that was being fired. Our objective was The Hyogo Museum of Ceramic Art which had opened about a year ago and had an exhibition of Figuarative Work in Clay. Robert Arnesen`s work was brilliant as usual and so too Fujihara Nin amongst others. This is the museum`s mission statement "

"The Museum of Ceramic Art, Hyogo" aims to promote ceramic culture in whole Hyogo prefecture and to deepen interchange of people through ceramic arts. It is designed to train talented ceramic artists for next generaion, to prepare lectures & activities, to collaborate with schools, as well as to present exhibitions of ancient potteries & world wide contemporary ceramic arts, to collect fine masterpieces and to study & investigate them. Also It creates, what is called, " eco musee " by inflecting local cultural resources and rich backdrop of nature. We then wandered around the pottery quarter where we bumped into a place where Janet Leach some 54 years ago did her apprenticeship. Old Bernie it seems was there too. We wewre amazed by the richness of the pottery tradtions in the area and it is well worth a visit.


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