Shigaraki has a 1,260-year history of pottery. Flower
vases have long been among the major ceramic items
of the area, encompassing a number of potteries.
Since people's lifestyles have changed rapidly in
recent years, there has arisen a need for the design
and functionality of ceramic vases to suit modern
living spaces. Setting up a research team in the
company, Shigaraki Labo has studied market awareness
about the usability, value, and design of flower
vases, as well as re-examining Japanese culture and
traditional styles. Communicating the study results
quickly and precisely to potteries, we have set up
joint projects and concentrated our efforts on the
development of new products.
Presented here is the result of our latest vase
development project with sixteen participating potters.
The aim is to produce innovative vases that achieve
harmony between Japanese traditional aesthetics and
modern design and features that fit in contemporary
houses. The concept is refinement.
Refinement in this context means to bring the product
nearer to perfection. We achieve this by examining
traditional flower vases produced in Shigaraki from
today's viewpoint regarding form, texture, color,
feel to the hand, and functionality, turning occasionally
to flower arrangement masters for guidance, and encouraging
potters to study flowers and blossoms.
Unprecedented ideal forms have thus been designed.
However, to turn the designs into actual items was
not without difficulty. To meet the design requirements
as closely as possible, the potters were tested to
their technical limits, repeating the process of
trial and error, and threw their whole soul in the
job. Finally, due to most of these Shigaraki potters
going beyond their ordinary frame of mind, they have
succeeded in delivering these novel vases.