The Nippon Collection

From where the sun rises

 

As the maze of concrete infinities and blaring neons are left gasping at the tail of a Shinkensen a calm descends as you enter the soothing cradle of Japan’s vast nature lands. Across primeval forests, frozen snow country and volcanic mountainscapes the people are scarce as the silence is loud, only interrupted by the blue noise of gushing crystal clear waters. Armed with a JR Pass and a month with no reservations, this collection is the cumulation of our adventures across the land of the rising sun.

 

Mizu

From up here, the water looks like a glassy painting, created with many gentle strokes of the same blue, as the water ripples and eddies over the river rocks below. 

 

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KAWA

As daylight skips across the flowing riverways that dissect the islands of Japan, its glimmer descends through the crystal clear depths to dance upon the river floor.  

Inspired by the clarity of Japan's waterways, our Kawa and Mizu vessels are finished in a light blue crackling fish-scale glaze. Each piece is hand thrown using an iron-laden or white stoneware clay and reduction fired to stoneware temperatures. The resulting clay bodies appearing pebbly or river bed smooth as it they lie calmly beneath the beautiful fractals of gleaming aqueous blue. 

 
 

What Surfaces, What Sinks Beneath

( 1, 2 & 3)

Like three tessellating aquarius moons these sewn mosaics are meditations on the revelations that glisten back when you peer through the ripples of your own reflection pool.

( 18cm, 13cm and 8cm in diameter respectively, Giclee prints on rice paper, sewn with 100% cotton thread )

 
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SORA

The sky softly seeps into everything out here, transcending the boundaries we see and filling the spaces between us. It’s not often we can feel this atmospheric void but for the moment it has become tangible - a soft omnipresence all around.

An ode to the delicate Japanese country sky, our Sora Vessels are each hand thrown using iron strewn clay and reduction fired for over 10 hours to stoneware temperatures. Covered in a soft chun style glaze resulting in a subtle satin blue surface.

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The Earth speaks to all of us, and if we listen, we can understand.”
— Castle in the Sky (1986)

As the last of the day's light shines over the afternoon sky everything appears illuminated. This is until the sun slips just below the horizon and the delicate shades of blue fade into the coming twilight. It’s a fleeting moment but when caught in a sunbeam's glow you are reminded that anything down here is possible, the only limit your imagination.

Inspired by the post meridian light of countryside Japan, our hand thrown Kū vessels are finished with a glaze we call ‘Castles In The Sky.’ Each iron laden piece is fired in a reduction environment to stoneware temperatures. The resulting glassy surface floats through a palette of gentle sky blues with delicate tiny golden crystals lucent as sunbeams shining through the afternoon skies.

 
 

Yama

 

Out here, the snow falls well before the leaves have fallen and still lingers when the blossoms have bloomed. The mountain sides are freckled with bare forests, a world draped in the silence of winter's cloak.


Dedicated to the snow covered mountains of Japan, our Yama vessels are finished with a modern shino style glaze. Each piece is hand thrown using an iron laden clay and fired to stoneware temperatures in a reduction atmosphere. The speckled clay body lends itself to flashing and varies between earthy reds to toasted browns whilst the glaze distills a wintery landscape viewed from above. Reminiscent of maples poking through the snow, the iron flecks glisten in the sunlight, whilst the delicate glaze crackles appear as the frozen tracks of those who traverse their way across the mountain lands - a poignent reminder that life continues - just at a different pace.

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Here in our mountains, the snow falls even on the maple leaves.”
— Yasunari Kawabata (Snow Country)
 
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Momiji

 

The quiet moment before winter when the leaves turn red on the maple trees.

 

Inspired by the autumnal change of the Japanese maple tree, our Momiji vessels are finished in a contemporary interpretation of a persimmon or kaki glaze. Each piece is hand thrown using an iron laden clay body and fired to stoneware temperatures in a reduction atmosphere. The iron saturated glaze utilises a small amount of tricalcium phosphate that interacts with the surface during the firing, creating miniscule blossoms of red that break through the deep tenmoku blacks - appearing as a late fall meadow covered in a rufescent blanket of spent maple leaves.

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Yakusugi

Their trunks moss laden and their roots bound upon granite, the grand sentries of Yakushima have stood for over a millennium, slowly weaving their leaves into the green infinities that blanket this small rainy island.

Any cedar tree over 1,000 years of age on Yakushima is bestowed the title of Yakusugi. These grand trees inspired our ‘Sugimon’ glaze which is applied over our hand thrown pieces. This glaze has been designed for the way it breaks around and over the vessels. Fired to stoneware temperatures in a heavily reduced atmosphere, the iron flecks melt dramatically from the clay body into the glassy surface, the glaze transforming into a painterly gradient from light brown through to a deep landscape of variegated moss and cedar greens.

 
 
It’s as if when you’re in the forest, you become a seamless part of it. “
— Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
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Ekō

The spirits from Yakushima’s past linger amongst the mossy primeval forest. They appear as Kodama, sending echoes throughout the mountains and valleys as reminders of the grand cedar trees they once grew as atop this ancient Japanese atoll.

Created as an ode to the ancient cedar trees felled during Japan’s Edo logging period; these vessels are hand thrown with an iron rich clay, dipped in our version of a peach bloom style glaze and fired to stoneware temperatures in a heavily reduced atmosphere. The glaze is extremely receptive to temperature and atmospheric variations resulting in glistening unworldly surface textures. 

 
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