Monday, June 01, 2009

Anagama Master, Michio Furutani

Michio Furutani, Photo from "Shigaraki Book", Act Publishing, Kyoto, Japan

Furutani who was a well-known Shigaraki potter and also Anagama kiln master published "Anagama Book (Riko Gakusha, 1994)" and it tells how he built his Anagama more than 30 times. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2000 and still he is loved by many fans and people, and also his book still leads us to Anagama world. We read this book many many times and it's getting worn, but it's always with us.

I met Mr. Furutani sometimes in Shigaraki about 10 years ago when I lived there, and I was able to talk to him for several times. He was very nice, kind, and very cute (I am not sure if this word is appropriate, though). He told me he was really tired he got many claims from people who bought his book and asked him that book didn't have exact sizing info at all. He was laughing and said "I don't want people will copy and build exact same as my Anagama, then they will start to complain about their firing results and blame me".

Furutani's work, Anagama fired, Unglazed
Photo from "Shigaraki Book", Act Publishing, Kyoto, Japan

What we most respect Mr. Furutani's work is everything was made by his own experiment and hardwork. He was born in Shigaraki and he must have had a lot of pressure, stereotype, too much influence, etc, but he just looked for what he believed without those kind of noises.

e-yakimono net by Robert Yellin has an article about Michio Furutani to the below.

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