The design and manufacture of ceramics is one of the oldest art forms in Japan and Japanese ceramics are known around the world for their beauty and quality.
In the product descriptions of the ceramics in my Hatsukoi shop, you might see me referring to the types of pottery as things like ‘Arita ware’, ‘Mashiko ware’ or ‘Hasami ware’, to name but a few, and these names refer to the towns or regions in Japan where they are made. The different regions produce different types of pottery, for example the Mashiko and Shino regions have the right type of clay to produce what we would call earthenware and other regions such as Imari, Arita, Mino and Hasami produce porcelain.
Across Japan certain regions are known for their own specialities, techniques and traditions which have been kept up for many hundreds of years. This may be the style of pottery, a signature design, the colours or type of glaze, some of which are very exclusive and highly sought after.
But as well as exclusive (and expensive!) items, these pottery regions are also well known for producing everyday dishes and pots that anyone can have at home. They still carry the traditions, aesthetic and quality of real Japanese ceramics and the designs are often imbued with meaning so that, even through these small things, you can bring harmony to your home.
Often even these cheaper goods are made in small, family run factories employing maybe 5 to 10 people with the ceramics being skilfully decorated and finished by hand using traditional techniques.
So you see, you really don’t need to spend a fortune to have beautiful things around your home that are both useful and filled with a feeling of tradition and heritage!