Kikyo Kiln is an old-style ""anagama"" kiln, made by digging a hole in the side of a hill. It was built in 2010 by the pottery artisan Emu Nakai, born and raised in Kameoka, who cleared the cypress forest near her childhood home and stacked the bricks to make the kiln herself.
Nakai fell in love with and trained in yakishime, a traditional technique of making unglazed pottery in a wood kiln that exploits the natural qualities of the clay.In contrast to conventional yakishime pieces which are typically rustic and heavy, Nakai’s are finer and more dainty-looking. They feel surprisingly light to hold and her expert potting and shaving skills are apparent in every detail.
“The beauty of yakishime items is that the more you use them, the more the gloss and color develop, and the more the feel improves. Because the clay is porous, you get a great layer of foam on beer and water tastes smoother. In a yakishime flower vase, the water will last longer too,” says Nakai.
- 3 Ohira Higashihonmecho Akakuma, Kameoka City, Kyoto Prefecture