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Kutani teacup

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Size: 7 cm (Dia) - 8.5 cm (H)

Kutani ware is marked by vivid dark colors that epitomize lavish aesthetics. It is theorized that the long, harsh and grey winters of the Hokuriku region led to a desire among people living there for ceramic ware to show strong and bold colours. The classical five colours style is known as gosai-de (五彩手) which includes green, blue, yellow, purple, and red. The designs are bold and normally depict landscapes, the beauty of nature, and people, and cover most of the surface of each piece.

In a normal production process the artisan receives a plain white ceramic piece. The artisan will paint a komon (小紋) fine pattern, which is also shown on kimono. The outlines are painted with zaffre, which consists of cobalt oxide. The vessel is then fired in the kiln, which turns the zaffre dark. It takes around seven hours to finish. The surface is then covered again in regular intervals. For the patterns and decoration, for example, the five colours called gosai-de made out of vitreous enamel are painted on the vessel with thick strokes, making the whole piece more three-dimensional in the end. The ratio used in each glaze determines the specific tones of the colours. The vessel is then fired again in the kiln at 800 Celsius. The chemical reaction due to the heat turns the pigment into the translucent colours desired by the artisan. The paint changes into a transparent glass and the fine komon design gives it depth.

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Tags: cup, kutani
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