Bizen Pottery by Suzuho Sato
Suzuho Sato was born in 1937 and lives in Tokyo. She received the 67th Shinkouzouten price from the famous Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, and has cumulated presentations of her work at Otaki Hokkaido ceramic exhibitions in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011.
What is Bizen?
Mrs. Suzuho Sato uses 100% of Bizen clays. “Bizen” is named after the village of Imbe in Okayama prefecture, formerly known as Bizen. Bizen village is famous for its solid clay of high iron content and to have developed Japan’s oldest pottery making technique, introduced in the Heian period (8th-11th century).
A tradition renewed
Suzuho Sato often insists on the fact that she is not only a ceramist but also a housewife. Consequently, she loves beautiful tableware, and she would like to create one that is practical for serving daily meals.
Whereas the traditional Bizen pottery is very thick, heavy and difficult to use for everyday meals, Suzuho Sato’s motivation is to create very light, thin, and solid craft, so her Bizen ware can be easily used like other earthenware.
Suzuho Sato’ ware renews the classical Bizen pottery by combining the quality of its clay with finesse to bring it in everyone’s home.
A unique creation process
- Spiral wedging / Kneading
Suzuho Sato kneads the clay approximately 1000 times for 15 minutes, and for 3 days.
- Slapping technique
Suzuho continues slapping the clay from early morning to the night until the thickness reaches 2 mm. All the tools she uses are handmade by her.
- Teacup making
a) Hole making
b) Finishing touch with sheepskin
c) Foot making
Bizen’s pottery is traditionally organic, since created without any glazing. Thus, Suzuho Sato’s products have the advantages of Bizen ware such as strength, warmth, and a healthy combination with food, drink, and nature.
The wares created with 100% Bizen clays hardly exist in the world. Pure Bizen clay makes possible to create beautiful surface just by the effect of fire and straw without depending on any glaze.
Suzuho Sato’s hard work makes thick and heavy Bizen clay become thinner, lighter, and stronger, by hitting and spreading the clay during hours with unique tools. She beats it from early morning for a whole day and creates a thin beautiful form like Chinese and Western porcelain. When the combination of fire and straw makes a miracle performance, her ware is finally finished.