Tanba Ware

Tanba Ware is one of the oldest kilns in Japan. It is also called Tanbatachikui Ware; but most people shorten it. There are several stated origins, but it is most likely derived from Sue Wae; which was made in the Kofun era and was an un-glazed pottery. The origin of the Tanba has been stated as anywhere between the Heian ear and the Kamakura era.

In the Edo era kilns imported form Korea increased how many units could be fired at one time. Over the course of 70 hours at 1,300 degrees pine wood ash fell into the units and reacted with the glaze which created a unique phenomenon called Ashe Overburden. This resulted in unexpected patterns and colors.

Around the same time as Ash Overburden began the potters kicking wheel was imported with the climbing wheel from Korea. Tanba ware is unique in that it has been passed down over generations with minimal changes. A key feature in the creation is to make the potters wheel spin counterclockwise; the purpose for this is greatly disputed, but most agree it is symbolic rather than functional.

Tanba arts are made with clays that are rich in iron, from the Tanbasasayama area. The Tanba ceramic artists make pieces primary for daily use, such as grinding grains and drinking sake. In the Edo era other ceramics like jars and pots began being produced. The support of tea master Enshu Kobori brought on creation of tea utensils and containers. Tanba Ware comes in many shapes and varies in color from dark brown to black. Tanba has long been praised by many ceramic lovers.

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