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Kimura Moriyasu

Japanese, born 1935

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Kimura Moriyasu is the youngest of four brothers, three of whom are potters, born and raised on Gojō Avenue, the center of Kyoto’s traditional Kiyomizu ware district. Their father specialized in painting colorful designs on porcelain, but Moriyasu has devoted his life to mastering tenmoku, a mottled iron-brown glaze that first appeared on teabowls in China during the Song dynasty (960–1279). Ever since, tenmoku has been cherished in both China and Japan as an ideal glaze to complement the frothy pale green color of matcha, thick green tea. Kimura's obsession is "oil spot" tenmoku, in which iron in the glaze forms surface crystals, forming patterns. It is extremely difficult to control, as results depend on nuanced reactions between clay, glaze, and changes that take place in the kiln.



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