Features of Bizen Pottery

If you ask me "What are features of Bizen pottery?," I will explain you about glaze, kiln, kaolin, and firewood. Let's see each of them!
  1. Bizen pottery doesn't use Uwagusuri(-=also called Yu-yaku). This Uwagusuri means glaze in English. Many of Japanese potteries such as Arita pottery(Saga-prefecrure, Japan)use glaze(including paintings such as trees, flowers, and the like)on the surface of potteries. However Bizen pottery doesn't use this. Bizen pottery is just simply fired in the large kiln. In the large kiln kaolin and flame combine together , and then some patterns appear on the surface of potteries. For instance, there are Goma, Sangiri, Hidasuki, and Yohen.

  2. Bizen pottery is fired in the Anagama, the Ogama, and the Noborigama. The Anagama(length=about six meters, width=about two meters, height=about one meter)is the kiln that it is digged in the slope of the mountain. It looks like tunnel. The Ogama(assumption: length=about fifty meters, width=about five meters, height=about two meters)is basically same as the Anagama in structure. The Noborigama(length=about ten meters, width=about two meters, height=about two meters) is the kiln that it is built on the ground. It has several rooms in the kiln. Each of them has name such as Udo, Ichiban, and Kedo. Currently the Noborigama is the most popular kiln in Bizen area because of its structure. Kaolin and flame combine together well, and potteries efficiently can be fired.

  3. Bizen pottery uses Yamatsuchi, Tazuchi(also called Hiyose), and Kurotsuchi. Yamatsuchi is soil which quartz is weathered. Tazuchi is soil which accumulate in the rice field. Kurotsuchi, also accunulate in the rice field, is soil which contain more organic matter(iron, for example) compared to Tazuchi. Potters mix each of these when they build(or make)potteries. Usually they mix Tazuchi in higher percentage(about seventy to eighty percent) with Yamatsuchi and Kurotsuchi.

  4. Bizen pottery is fired by firewoods of red pine tree. Many firewoods are used when potteries are fired(=Firewoods are carried by about six trucks<4t truck>.).