It is common for pieces to fall or be damaged in a wood-fired noborigama kiln, but rather than be disheartened, the Takatori family recognised the burnt and scarred beauty of these survivors. They have now perfected the technique of purposefully knocking pieces over into the ash on the floor of the kiln without smashing them, at the risk of cracked glasses and singed hair. These 'haikaburi' or 'ash-wearing' pieces have an elemental beauty all of their own.
The tea master Kobori Enshū valued Takatori ceramics for their subtle glazes and refined construction, and coined the phrase kireisabi to describe the appearance of patina which the Takatori family could achieve. 400 years later, the Takatori family is still going strong and their expertise is still apparent as soon as you see or hold any of their work. Despite all the tradition, the Takatori family are very open to experimenting and trying new glaze combinations and shapes and this has been a really fun process for both of us.
Their pieces seem so delicate, but the Takatori family fire their kiln at 1250 degrees which means all their mugs for example can be put in the dishwasher or microwave and are surprisingly resilient and can be used as everyday items. A lovely combination of beauty, utility, tradition and experimentation.