Arkansas Tsuchigama Project: Second Firing, Summer 2018

10 August 2018

The Arkansas Tsuchigama Project is a collaboration between Japanese and American artists, led by ceramicist Tadashi Hirakawa and TCU Professor of Art, Chris Powell. The team explores the history and technique used by the earliest stoneware potters of japan. The group will exhibit work created in replicas of early japanese kilns, known as "tsuchigama," at Artspace111 on August 10th, 2018. The work will be on display from 10am - 5pm, with a reception from 5 - 6pm. 


Exhibition Statement

"The ability to produce high-fired ceramics developed over many centuries. Early in the first millennium Chinese potters built kilns that reached temperatures capable of transforming clay into a state as hard as stone. The result was the world’s first stoneware, a high point in ceramic craft. The kilns they used were built into the ground using clay from nearby clay deposits. This technology was introduced to Japan from Korea in the eighth century and the Japanese potters called the kilns “anagama”, a Japanese word that translates cave kiln.


In the summer of 2015, Tadashi Hirakawa and a team of Japanese and American artists built and fired a kiln in southwest Arkansas based on Mr. Hirakawa’s research into ancient firing techniques. Mr. Hirakawa’s work in Bizen City, Okayama Prefecture, promotes the kilns closest to those first introduced to Japan capable of attaining stoneware temperatures.  Mr. Hirakawa calls this kiln type, “tsuchigama.”


This summer we have gathered to make work and fire the kiln a second time. This body of work is a result of that continued research into this firing technique. We present these pieces with the hope of continuing a tradition while pushing boundaries through individual artistic perception."