Set of latte cups by Mizuho Kimura, featuring painterly, warm sangiri and goma kiln effects. Mizuho drew inspiration from an unusual source: large latte cups found in Western coffeehouses. The resulting cups are a blend of traditional Bizen ware techniques with contemporary, Western coffee ware.
The making of...
With the sangiri (桟切り) technique, pieces placed on the outer edges of the kiln are buried in the ash. The surfaces covered by the charcoal are not exposed to the flame; the reaction of the iron in the clay to the carbon of the embers produces a distinctive bluish gray, dark grey, gray-black, or brownish black color.
During the firing, red pine ash whirls through the kiln and eventually settles and melts onto the pieces. The result is a natural, sienna-hued ash glaze resembling sprinkles of sesame seeds, or goma (胡麻). The point at which the ash melts (1200℃) is known as tama-dare (ball drop). Goma can be most often found on pieces placed near the fire mouth. It is possible now to artificially create goma patterns by adding pine ash prior to firing. There are other variations in color: yellow, brown, black, and blue-green.
About Mizuho Kimura
Mizuho Kimura is a 10th generation potter in Bizen, Japan. Her work in Bizenware draws upon her background in painting and fine arts. She runs Studio Kibido with her father, Bifu Kimura, and husband, Yosuke.