Kenji Tayama



One of the key aspects of classical Japanese pottery is the communion it creates with nature. A potter in Kasama since 1992, Kenji Tayama works within this tradition.

Moulding and forming his pieces by hand, he fires them over a period of five days in a wood burning anagama style kiln. The red pine wood he uses is famed for the spontaneous moments of beauty in makes with its oils and ash within such a kiln. When he begins the process Tayama has an image of how each piece fire, but he does not know for sure, and the barter with the elements in trying to retain control of the kiln over days and nights, yields different discoveries each time. Some are from the red colour and high iron content of the Kasama clay which brings forward explosions from beneath the glaze. Kiln effects, or yōhen, are how Tayama decorates his ceramics, and an expression of the dedication to nature within his work.