Firing in a climbing kiln has similarity of power devices of internal combustion engines in vehicles, in the process of hydrodynamics from ignition to venting.
When a steam locomotive runs, relating my experience, engineers open the round lid of the boiler and put a shovelful of coal on the fire. My kiln also has an inlet made of bricks, into which I throw Japanese pine woods.
By throwing on wood repeatedly until getting enough temperature and dynamic pressure, the temperature inside the kiln becomes 1,350 Celsius high at most, and the fire showing various faces burns spiraling upward from left at the speed of more than five meters per second then comes down onto pottery works. Thus the rich fire makes the purple colors on my works.
Clays with Iron, magnesium, cobalt, manganese, sodium, quartz and other minerals from the mother earth becomes pottery works, of which are unified by fire. That means we fire the mother earth to make a pottery.
We pray to the god of fire after all the efforts we could concentrate. In other words, miraculous deed of the universe and the prescription of the artists’ thoughts are mutually inspired, and the only work appears as the result. That is how I believe.
The 50th Anniversary Exhibition of Shibuya Kurodatoen
“TANAKA Sajiro selected fifty works”
TANAKA Sajiro consistently excavated and researched on important Karatsu kilns of Azuchi-Momoyama period in his 30’s. He was eager to reproduce old Karatsu ware such as Madara of Kishi-dake Mountain, E-Karatsu of Ushiishi and Abondani, and E-Madara-Karatsu of mysterious kiln of Yamase Shimokama old kiln site.
The first kiln he built was of a climbing kiln in Jorakuji-temple in rural area of Karatsu.
You can see the temple gate after crossing stone bride over a beautiful Handgawa river. The temple has a bell tower at the second floor. I visited his pottery studio along the liver when he was 40 years old. He was a warm-hearted gentle man, but once the subject of conversation becomes about Madara-Karatsu, KATO Tokuro and KOYAMA Fujio, his eyes were glazed like a young Samurai.
Wanting to restore old Yamase kiln that can produce his ideal tea bowls, which has bright color with dignity and the real taste in foot, he went into deep mountain of Yamase, he cleared and leveled the site near a river. When he was fifty he finally succeeded to build a long climbing kiln with fifteen rooms.
We have held his solo exhibition every year since 1985, including the exhibition of “Commemorating new Yamase kiln”, “30 tea bowls at the 30th anniversary” and “Koryo tea bows at the 40th anniversary”
Now, pat the 50th Anniversary Exhibition of Shibuya Kurodatoen “TANAKA Sajiro selected fifty works” , presented great works are Madara-Karatsu and Ido tea bowls he has been exploring since his first kiln.