Beautiful, exquisite, soft white porcelain that is semi-translucent and nearly defies description. That is the work of amazing ceramics artist Kiyoko Morioka who lives and creates in Ishikawa Prefecture.
We first came upon her work during a visit to Kanazawa on an exploration of one of Japan’s three most beautiful and famous gardens — Kenrokuen. In the visitor center, there was an exhibition of local ceramics artists. We were immediately taken with the stunningly elegant simplicity of Morioka-san’s works. Now, we are proud and excited to bring them to Japan Suite and to the world.
Morioka-san works with “kutani” clay, but unlike traditional kutani porcelain, originating and made famous centuries ago in Ishikawa, she does not paint them with elaborate artwork — instead preferring to let the clay stand on its own. The look and feel are simple and subtle — yet so exquisite. Her pieces are deceptively strong and durable for a ceramic that appears to be so delicate and ultra thin. She throws the clay to its thinnest possible form and fires at 1300 C, then polishes to fortify the porous surface to resist dirt and make it easy to clean.
At a casual glance they appear to be white with a nearly matte finish, but hold them up to light and new gradations subtly emerge through the semi-translucent porcelain.
Morioka-san, who also studied in Denmark, has recently been certified as a traditional craftsperson in Japan. She still plays soccer, a passion of hers since grade school.
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Delicate, and ultra thin porcelain — almost transparent.