Jobu-gama – Kyo-yaki, Kiyomizu-yaki

The search for expressions only we ourselves can make

We create pottery centering on vases, tea utensils, incense burners and decorative pots that enhance spaces. We have put a lot of effort into researching glazes in particular, and we have colors that can only be produced by Jobu-gama. We have a vermillion with a sense of depth to it, along with “sansai”, a tri-colored gradation of iridescent green, bright blue and dark navy through which the underglaze can be seen. These are created through a high level of skill and a spirit of inquiry.

We focus our energies on creating things that can only be created by hand, things that only we can achieve, creating pieces that move those looking at them.

(right) Takehiro Katopresent head of Jobu-gama
(left) Akiko KatoTakehiro Kato’s wife and partner
Born in Kyoto in 1968. Began creating pottery at Jobu-gama in 1988. Has actively participated in and displayed her works in exhibitions in Europe and Asia.
Currently a fellow of Nitten (The Japan Fine Arts Exhibition), a member of the Kyoto Fine Arts Association, a member of the Group of Artists Kogei Kyoto and a member of Soko-kai.

Kyo-yaki, Kiyomizu-yaki

Pottery that is fired in Kyoto is called “Kyo-yaki”. This term first makes an appearance in records in 1605. In the diary of a merchant from Hakata, it is recorded that “a tea container, Kyo-yaki” was used in a tea ceremony, and it is thought that there is a good possibility that this was a raku-yaki tea caddy. Kiyomizu-yaki was the term used for pottery that was fired in kilns along the road leading to Kiyomizu Temple, but today, it refers to the pottery created in Kyoto Prefecture in general. It could be said that Kyo-yaki and Kiyomizu-yaki are almost one and the same. The characteristics of this type of pottery could be said to be the blend of clays introduced from other regions and the technological skills developed through friendly competition that were recognized by connoisseurs such as tea masters and court nobles. It is said that that there are as many interpretations as there are potters, and it continues to develop as tasteful, elegant pottery.

  • Fragrance pots are shaped using two types of clay with differing characteristics mixed together using the “nerikomi” (kneading) technique.

  • Scraping the surface brings out the rich expression of the clay even further.

  • The opaque whitish glaze effects a chemical reaction with the elements in the clay when it is fired in a kiln, resulting in a delicate color.