Earlier this year in February, we visited the Narutaki Kiln in Bizen, Okayama Prefecture. On this cold and rainy day, Kiko Ando, owner and artisan of the kiln, invited us to take a look at his studio. His workplace is remarkably tidy and shows the discipline with which he creates his works.
The firing wood is piling up outside the studio. The kiln needs a lot of it to reach and hold the high temperature for a whole week.
In the hut where his kiln is, he showed us how he prepares the clay he uses. He collects clay from different parts of the hills of Okayama, and mixes them by hand to gain his preferred clay type. It is crushed, mixed with water, then drained before being formed by the hands of Mr. Ando.
Heavy clouds were hanging on the hills of Irinaka in Bizen.