It has been a while since I’ve introduced new work by the Nagoya based potter Inoue Shigeru. This is because his ceramics has been gaining popularity in Japan since we debuted him here in the US in 2018. This long wait is understandable though because Inoue-san’s work is truly unique, and a single and in-demand potter can only make so much. So I’m delighted that I am able to show new work by him that includes beautiful green ash glazes that he has been experimenting with.
Inoue-san is continuing to use rough and crumbly unprocessed clay that is extremely difficult to form. He applies natural slip and glazes that are mixed using feldspar exposed to the rain and sun. When I met him over 5 years ago, I was shocked to see how rough his hands were from working with this difficult clay and mixing the slip and glazes. But he is adamant about using these natural materials and methods because only they can create the desired depth and rusticity in the finished work.
He fires his pots in a gas kiln with minimal airflow, known as reduction firing, which deprives oxygen from the kiln. By doing so, he forces oxygen to be drawn out of the clay bodies and glazes. This firing method causes random pink shades to appear in the glaze, known as gohonte, that are much desired by pottery enthusiasts.
I think that the gohonte is even more visible in this recent batch of his work, which is perfect for the soon to arrive spring.