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

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Yamada Jozan III--The Beauty of Kyusu

In 1998 Yamada Jozan(1924-2005) was named a Living National Treasure for his Tokoname-yaki kyusu or small tea pouring vessels. His kyusu have a warmth and grace that only comes from years and years of experience and a pure heart. An isaku-ten or posthumous exhibition highlighting 100 works for sale will be held in Tokyo at Wako, Ginza from October 3rd-11th. Yamada took the potting name Jozan in 1961 and his first son--the former Emu--became JozanIV this year. Yamada won the Japan Ceramic Society Prize in 1993 and was designated an Aichi Prefectural Intangible Cultural Property in 1994. This is most likely the last chance to see such an exhibition by a true master.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Big Award for Miyao Masahiro

One of our favorite younger Bizen ceramic artists--Miyao Masahiro--has been awarded a major award at the 53rd annual Japanese Traditional Arts and Crafts exhibition! It's the Nihon Kogei Kai Kai-cho Award for the pictured large hachi-bowl, selected by the chairman of the Japanese Traditional Arts and Crafts association. Miyao is only the third Bizen ceramic artist to be awarded a top award at this prestigious exhibition, the other two being Yamamoto Izuru and Isezaki Shin. The exhibition starts next week in Tokyo at Mitsukoshi(9/26-10/8, then across Japan it travels) and more information--in Japanese only though--can be found in the following web site:
Congratulations to Miyao!

Fab Japanese Contemporary Clay in New York City

Moving down from Boston to New York City is a must see exhibition for anyone interested in contemporary Japanese clay titled "Contemporary Clay: Japanese Ceramics for the New Century" at the Japan Society from Sept. 29-Jan.21, 2007. More about this important exhibition can be found on the Japan Society home page---also note the sake tasting on the Sept.30:
(The photo is of Yoshikawa Masamichi's work, printed on an invitation I received.)

Friday, September 15, 2006

Kako Katsumi Exhibition is Up!

Down to the wire, down to the last glowing ember, down to the cooling, Kako's fired, unloaded and I selected; a few days late, yet in the scheme of things a blink of time. Time, each day we pass it without notice, yet at the end of the day when time vanishes it's always a delight to gaze upon or use beauty in the home. We hope you will visit Kako's world debut at and also read an article about him on

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Kako Katsumi Exhibition

He's still firing and it's going to be down to the wire, yet we should be ready for Kako Katsumi's exhibition starting on the 11th; stay tuned for more details and to all who have signed our guest book at you'll be receiving previews as soon as the pots cool.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Identification of Pots

I often receive requests from around the world asking assistance in identifying pottery and for appraisals. I'd like to take the time to offer free help to all that ask, yet obviously that is impossible. I often redirect folks to a free Asian art forum that allows one to upload photos and ask for advice; the URL is The introduction states, "We are delighted to announce the opening of a new Forum for Chinese and Japanese art and inscriptions, moderated by Anthony M. Lee. We hope Mr Lee's identification and inscription reading help will help our visitors, and stimulate interesting discussions."