Robert Yellin's Japanese Pottery Blog

Greetings from Kyoto, We've just moved our gallery into a magnificent old Sukiya style home located very near the Silver Pavilion; a stunning area and setting for the inspired ceramic art we share with the world. Please visit us if ever in Kyoto or online at and

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Yokoyama Naoki's "Bizen Marbled Clay' Delights Online Exhibition

We are very pleased and delighted to share Yokoyama Naoki's "Marbled Clay Delights" exhibition that be online until May 31st at Yokoyama was born and raised in Osafune, the neighboring town to Bizen and home to many Bizen potters as well as being famous for Bizen swords, of which Yokoyama's family also has roots. His father--Shusui--is also a Bizen potter. Naoki studied at the Bizen Ceramic Center starting in 1991 before going under the wing of Kawabata Fumio--one of Bizen's 'clay pioneers' for helping introduce a new style of Bizen called shizen-nerikomi. Shizen means natural/nature while nerikomi is a multiple layered clay---usually two kinds---that create a marbled effect. This is quite a difficult style to create as the clay is brittle and cracks easily during firing, yet the successful pieces exude a profound sense of beauty and warmth. Yokoyama of course also fires traditional Bizen styles in his noborigama and we are also offering some of these as well, yet our focus is on shizen-nerikomi as it's not that well known outside of Japan and certainly represents a new wave in Bizen's long and celebrated history. Yokoyama established his own studio in 2000. One photo is not a Yokoyama creation--of course--yet one of our world's greatest mountains and energy points, the photo was taken about 7pm last Friday as I was flying down to Izumo.


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