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3 February 2016

“Studio Sora” Izumi Fukawa’s ceramics

Izumi Fukawa makes ceramics in Karatsu, Saga-prefecture. Her studio is located in the midst of mountains and also close to the sea. Surrounded by nature, Fukawa fills up a climbing kiln with 4 rooms and fires ceramics twice a year.

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While looking at nature in the mountains of Karatsu

Fukawa’s studio is named “Sora,” which means sky.
When she was an elementary school student, a boy teased and upset her.
But while staring at the sky, her feelings were put at ease.
She was impressed by the power of the sky and started feeling attracted to it.

“Plants strike roots, absorb sunshine and continue living.
I want to look at nature and treasure each day together with the soil,”
says Fukawa. From the works she produces, we can feel the warmth and dynamism of nature.



All of Fukawa’s ceramics are baked in a firewood kiln. The firewood stacked in her studio were cut by petite Fukawa using a chain sew.






Works produced from a firewood kiln

In Fukawa’s studio, many Karatsu wares are lined up, including traditional Mishima pattern dishes, spotted bowls in pale and beautiful colors and Yakishime wares, which are slowly baked for 1 week.

When we visited her, she was applying a pattern to cups and flat plates.
She uses a handmade stamp and makes patterns one by one.
After applying white clay, she takes the cups and plates into the firewood kiln.
This is how Mishima wares decorated with a fine pattern are done.






After brushing off the applied engobe, the clay remains only in the stamped parts and a beautiful pattern appears.


A glaze made of straw ashes is used for spotted dishes.
After baking the dishes, the color turns out either pale blue or gentle milk-white.
“You never know which color will appear until you open the kiln.” Fukawa says.
Fukawa enjoys making ceramics that include these unpredictable results.



The same glaze is used, but different colors show after baking.


At the everyday dinner table

Fukawa’s simple and relaxed dishes make everyday food look attractive, as though they embrace the food served in them.

Her works match other types of material such as wood and can be used every day at your dinner table.



During the exhibition at KOHORO Yodoyabashi, Fukawa served green tea. She makes a wide variety of tea cups and bowls. The pot handle shown in the picture was woven by her. She used wisteria vines she ordered from Kyoto.






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