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Nishihata Tadashi

Nishihata Tadashi

Photography by Sakakibara

bio pt 1

Born 1948, Hyogo, Japan

A native of the centuries-old ceramic region of Tachikui celebrated for producing Tanba pottery, NISHIHATA TADASHI comes from a long line of distinguished ceramic artists, going back to the middle Edo period. His work reflects his mastery of these ancient techniques as well as his keen sense of refined modern aesthetics, making him one of the contemporary masters of Tanba ware. Nishihata has brought new energy and a spirit of modernity and attention to this hidden spot between Osaka and Kyoto.

"With my ceramics, I strive to evoke flowing water, mountain ridges or forests of trees while always bearing in mind which shapes will bring out the allure of the clay itself."


bio pt 2

Fired in an anagama (half underground kiln), his uniquely thick ash glazes cascade into a waterfall of melting colors. His signature blueish-green glaze is made from a combination of rice straw and other local wood ashes. The diagonally faceted, carved surfaces on his rounded triangular vessels provide the ideal form for the traditionally fired unctuous glazes. On the other hand, it is his reinvention of the ancient akadobe slip-glazing, a Momoyama era technique for creating a deep brick-red surface through the application of a particular type of mud prior to a prolonged wood-firing, which has brought him the greatest acclaim in Japan. For this later style work, Nishihata abandons his anagama and instead using a climbing kiln (which he modified fifteen times) to fire his ceramics. 

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