Collection: Shigaraki Rough Clay Teapot 信楽粗土急須

Shigaraki Clay: One of the 6 Oldest Potteries in Japan

Shigaraki is the name of a place in Shiga Prefecture in Japan. This place was called "Koga" once upon a time. Most Japanese knows this name, Koga, not because of the clay, but Ninja. Koga was the place where Koga Ninja was brought up. In any case, we need to clarify that Ninja has nothing to do with this clay though.

Shigaraki is one of the 6 oldest potteries in Japan. At present Shigaraki produces more than a few thousand kinds of clay and also supply various kinds of clay to many other places such as Tokoname, Bizen, Banko and Sado. In fact the most of clays being produced in Shigaraki is white clay which is suitable to get beautiful "Yohen" outlook when it is fired in wooden kiln such as "Noborigama" (Dragon Kiln). As the matter of fact, most of aritist who use Shigaraki clay to bake their product is hoping to get identical appearance. Unfortunately those clays are not suitable for teapot due to following 2 reasons.  

 

1. The firing temperature is too high. For the most of Shigaraki Yaki, the artist uses very high temperature to fire clay.

 

2. The artist wants the surface of clay melted in order to create natural glazing and to cause the various color with fire.

 

It is nothing wrong to use this technique for making a flower base or something which is only for aesthetic purpose. However the high temperature firing is not suitable for teapot. The high firing temperature get the mineral of clay melted and drastically reduce its surface area. Once clay reduces its surface area, it gives very less effect to the taste.

 

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