Shigeru Inoue is a Ceramic Artist from Tokoname, one of the most renowned pottery regions in Japan.
Having a lifelong interest in mineralogy, he began to collect raw and natural soils to produce his own clays. The soils he started collecting were first suitable for ‘Kohiki’ style pottery, which he produces.
After a while he started collecting a different type of soil, although from the same source. As he explains ‘soil is like a human’s personality’, they can be completely different even if they are from the same place. This peculiar soil was harder to shape and the Kohoki glaze didn’t stick.
Not wanting to waste the unique soil, he discovered it was suitable for ‘Mishima’ style pottery, and began honing his technique.
Mishima pottery was originally adopted from Korea around the 15th Century, and became popular with practitioners of the tea ceremony.
Mishima style pottery is characterised by carving or incising patterns and designs into the surface, then filling the design with a contrasting clay slip, before covering with a transparent glaze.
Whether Kohiki or Mishima style pottery, Inoue-san’s style is organic and rustic, in keeping with the philosophy of ‘Wabi Sabi’.
When holding or using one of his creations, one is reminded of the soil that slept underground for thousands of years, before being personally dug up and sculpted by this talented artist.
By Shigeru Inoue:
Artisan - Shigeru Inoue