Bringing New Form and Color to Ancient Traditions.
From early childhood, Takashi Baba, longed to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a Bizen ceramic artist. Baba studied sculpture at Tokyo University of Arts, seeking to create works for the enjoyment of their form, rather than strictly functional products. He now pursues expressions full of originality that only he can create.
Bizen ware, one of Japan's six ancient kiln forms Rokkyo, has been made for generations around the Inbe area of Bizen City, in Okayama Prefecture. The best and featured part of Bizen ware is Yakishime, which is baked at a high temperature of 1200 degrees without using any glaze.
Bizen ware’s unique features develop according to the characteristics of the soil, the way the kiln is used, the temperature of the kiln changes, and the nature of the ash and charcoal produced when it is baked, so it never produces the same color or pattern. The deep brown color of Bizen ware is a characteristic color produced by iron contained in the local clay.
Recently, however, Baba has been using his unique sensitivity and techniques to create a blue color instead of the usual brown earth color. Blue is a very revolutionary color in Bizen ware and Baba’s efforts are drawing the attention of a new generation.
Bizen ware is hard because it is baked at high temperature for several weeks. Many of the works have been used as mortar and pestle (suribachi) or pot (tsubo). However, it is also suitable for vases because of its fine pores and excellent air permeability. It is also suitable for beer glasses and sake cups due to the fine uneven foam it produces.
Baba Pursues "An Object That Can Be Used".
While Baba’s work is steeped in Bizen’s long history and traditions, his research is focused on is to see how he can adapt traditional tools and methods to create his own color variations by mixing the soil and skillful baking the in the climbing kiln.
1983 Born as the eldest son of Bizen ware artist Shosuke Baba