Meet the Maker: Tatsumi Kiln

Noborigama Kiln with Shimenawa

Shimenawa strings hung over the noborigama at the Tatsumi kiln

Naganuma san is a force of nature. He has the energy to have a wood-fired noborigama and anagama - and he fires them regularly by himself. This is a huge amount of work for one person by itself. He also finds and digs his own clay, makes his own glazes and grows his own rice. No wonder he describes himself as "made of fire and earth". Despite all his skill and technical ability, he still refuses to consider himself an artist - just a potter.

Oak ash glazed stoneware from the Tatsumi Kiln

Oak ash glazed wood fired stoneware from Naganuma san

Besides all this work, he is great fun to be around, his car has no petrol gauge or speedometer - trips through the hills of Fukuoka are a lottery. He gets lots of help from his daughters and his wife - who makes the most tasty walnut mochi imaginable.

Walnut mochi warming on a wood-fired stove

No better sight on a cold snowy February day than home-made walnut mochi warming on their wood-fired stove!

Toho village map, Fukuoka