Essays and Articles

Japanese ceramics - Oribe Pottery

Friday, November 10, 2017

Oribe ware is a historically important Japanese pottery variety that emerged during the late Momoyama and early Edo periods in Tajimi, in modern day Gifu prefecture.

Developed under and named after the Daimyo (feudal lord) in control of the Tajimi area, Furuta Oribe, (1544-1615) himself a student of the noted tea master Sen no Rikyu, Oribe pottery quickly became a firm favourite among tea ceremony practitioners, who valued its earthy, sculptural aesthetic.

It is easily identifiable by its typically vibrant green or black glazed areas set against contrasting pale white, cream or pinkish hued grounds, often further decorated with black or brown underglaze designs.


Under-glaze painting is usually based around themes of nature or geometric patterns and oftentimes incorporates classical Japanese art motifs such as the famous Uji brige, karakusa scrollwork or Buddhist wheels.

As a general rule, most Oribe wares are produced in irregular forms and uneven proportions, with many of the patterns and underglaze designs created centuries ago still in regular use today.

Now produced all over Japan, contemporary oribe ceramics are made to cater to a wide range of tastes and budgets; from dishes, bowls and plates for everyday use to traditional tea and wares and sculptural works by famous artists, few other Japanese ceramic types are as varied, versatile and timelessly appealing as Oribe piece.

 

 

Early 17th century Oribe ware bowl, Momoyama period, sold at Christies

 

 

Early 17th century black Oribe tea bowl, Momoyama period, Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art


Rare Japanese Oribe pottery sweets dish, available at Kazari + Ziguzagu

 

Japanese black glazed Oribe mizusashi, available at Kazari + Ziguzagu



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