The Hyoutan is a very traditional gourd shaped vase, but the construction and glaze sets these ones apart. The wood-firing gives a deep dark body and the trickle of glaze round the neck spills down in reds, browns and oranges.
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.