This handmade yunomi tea cup was fired in the kilns of Mike Martino's studio Gotanbayashi Kama in December, 2015.
Karatsuyaki, or Karatsu Ware (Wikipedia entry), as a living tradition encompasses an enormous range of work, representative of both Japanese and Korean culture. Considered a traditional Japanese handicraft, it is known for its simple, sturdy, earthy style. Using clay rich in iron, works done in this style may be unglazed or decorated with an iron-based glaze creating the earthy, natural feel.
DIMENSIONS: D63 x H83 mm (D2.48 x H3.27 in)
VOLUME: 150 cc (5 fl oz/ 1 cup)
WEIGHT: 170g (6 oz)
About the artist
I am a native of New Mexico, but have lived in Japan since 1990. Although I developed an interest in pottery as a child from visiting ancient ruins and surrounding pueblos, I didn't start making pots until 2002 when I met veteran Karatsu potter Tsuruta Yoshihisa who mentored me in the Karatsu tradition.
After an initial period of renting and borrowing kilns, I built Gotanbayashi studio in 2005 and installed a gas kiln. In 2008, I began showing work to the public, participating in shows, and conducting workshops. 2010 saw the construction of the Gotanbayashi anagama/noborigama hybrid wood kiln next to the existing studio, and this is the kiln in which most of the work is fired today.
Much of the work is teaware for the Japanese tea ceremony, but I also make Japanese and western style tableware, ware for drinking sake, sculptural work, and collaborative pieces with artists from other mediums.