Katsutarou Kikuchi Official Website -Japanese Potter-


Firing condition

The entire kiln was fired completely, and there were no damaged pieces. The color was Bordeaux (or dark red), and the “hirura” was slightly colored with gloss. Pieces in the higher part of the kiln had a light scarlet color. Pieces in the front part of the kiln which got covered with ash had a light yellow gradation. There was a color difference between the upper part and the lower part of the kiln. The upper part of the kiln was in an oxidation atmosphere resulting in light colored pieces while the lower part of the kiln was in a reduction atmosphere and therefore the pieces came out dark as expected.

The clay was fired almost to its limit, and there were no under-fired pieces. The overall result was good, and the first row results were as good as the second row results from the previous year. Re-fired pieces were pale and light in color compared to single-fired pieces.  Because they were on the front shelf, they were well-matured, however, ash deposit was lighter than the single-fired pieces.  There was not much effect from the lowered temperature and carbon, and the color was brighter than I expected.  Tea bowls on the top shelves and the upper shelves had good expression and color.  Make sure to pay the most attention when you load tea bowls.

In order to shorten the side stoking-time, the front-stoking time was increased and ended up having a good result. Glazed pieces
I aimed at a blue-white color for the white glazed “Kinyou” pieces (Celadon porcelain), but instead, I got a soft clear glaze which was interesting and had decent character.
Black, persimmon, and yellow glaze were the same as the last firing result. Black and persimmon glaze were runny depending on the place they were loaded (the temperature was higher on the lower shelves than in the back part of the kiln), but they didn't seethe like the last time.
Pieces in saggars (ceramic containers which can be used to enclose or protect ware in kilns) with raw wood in them appeared with a variety of changes and were very interesting. Mostly, the crystal got larger on the inside and outside of the pieces. Therefore, upon further inspection, Saggar firing is worth trying. Black glaze with cobalt, manganese paint didn't show any good results, it just ran black. Except for this, the overall result was a good and better than expected.