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Touching Stone Gallery   Santa Fe, USA


Kiyoharu Ichino

Quiet Passion - Contemporary Tanba Pottery

April 4 - 30, 2008

See more of this artist's work: 2002 show,  2006 show,  2008 show,  2010 show

Kiyoharu Ichino  市野清治

Nestled in a beautiful valley along the Shitodani River among towering mountains northwest of Kyoto is the picturesque village Tachikui, the historic center of Tanba* pottery. The rich ferrous soil in this area has supported generations of farmers and artisans since the early Kamakura period (1180-1230). The oldest existing noborigama (climbing kiln) in Japan is found here. This serene unpretentious locale is home of some of the most beautiful ceramics that have influenced aesthetic development in Japan and the western world. Bernard Leach, British ceramist behind the 20th century art and craft movement, was a frequent guest in this village.

Because of its relative isolation, Tanba is less influenced by outside commercial trends than some other more accessible pottery towns in Japan. Old Tanba pottery had a restrained dignified appearance, exuding quiet confidence that reflected its proud heritage. This unique quality is evident in the works of contemporary Tanba ceramist Kiyoharu Ichino featured in this exhibition.

Kiyoharu Ichino was born in 1957 in Tachikui into an extended family steeped in pottery-making tradition. He learned all aspects of Tanba pottery since childhood. When he was twenty, he moved to Seto to study pottery under a master of Akatsu-yaki. Upon returning to Tachikui, he launched his career with the Tanba Group Kiln. In 1983, he established his own kiln and began showing in galleries all over Japan. His works have been selected repeatedly for the prestigious juried Japan Traditional Crafts Exhibition sponsored by the Japan Crafts Association. In 1995, he was nominated to be a permanent member of The Japan Crafts Association, an honor bestowed to the most experienced and talented artists.

Traditional Tanba pottery is fired unglazed at very high temperature in large wood-fueled kilns. Ichino uses both an anagama (hole kiln) and a noborigama (climbing kiln), burning almost a thousand bundles of wood over several days to bring out the unique personalities of Tanba clay, which is renowned for its rich texture and deep purplish brown colors. Many of his pieces show silvery fire-marks like swirling mists left by the wood fire. His pieces appear to be integral parts of the clay rather than separate objects made from it. To show the unique clay texture, he often includes seemingly unfinished edges in his designs, exposing the rough clay body. Despite the high level of sophistication and innovation, Ichino's works maintain a strong connection with the ancient Tanba pottery tradition. Ichino should be no stranger to many Santa Fe residents. His work has been exhibited both in Touching Stone Gallery and as part of a major exhibition in the New Mexico Museum of International Folk Art in 2006.

* Note Tanba is a phonetic translation of two Japanese characters: 丹 'Tan' (red) and 波 'Ba' (wave). Tanba, or Land of Red Waves, got its name from a kind of red rice grown in ancient time which turned the fields into a sea of red. The name is often corrupted as Tamba.

Click on images to view selected pieces

Inquiry/order:, see Inquiry/Order

Ichino_Bowl_Ac.jpg (177477 bytes)Ichino_Bowl_Ab.jpg (177702 bytes)

Ceramic Bowl A     23" x 17" x 10"h  (2 views)




Ichino_Vase_2a.jpg (142541 bytes)Ichino_Vase_2b.jpg (140494 bytes)

Ceramic Vase  2     11" x 11" x 12"h  (3 views)




Ichino_Vase_3a.jpg (96001 bytes)Ichino_Vase_3b.jpg (96270 bytes)

Ceramic Vase  3      9" x  8" x 10"h  (2 views)



Ichino_Vase_Ca.jpg (88333 bytes)Ichino_Vase_Cb.jpg (87050 bytes)

Ichino_Vase_5a.jpg (73126 bytes)Ichino_Vase_5b.jpg (73004 bytes)

Ceramic Vase  C    5" x 3" x 11.5"h  (2 views)




Ceramic Vase  5    5.5" x 3.5" x10"h  (2 views)




Ichino_Bowl_6a.jpg (128513 bytes)Ichino_Bowl_6b.jpg (149130 bytes)

Ceramic Bowl  6    17.5" x 11.5" x 8"h





Ichino_Bowl_7a.jpg (142092 bytes)Ichino_Bowl_7b.jpg (131526 bytes)

Ceramic Bowl  7    17" x 12" x 7"h  (2 views)





Ichino_Vase_8a.jpg (190235 bytes)Ichino_Vase_8d.jpg (127007 bytes)Ichino_Vase_8c.jpg (151102 bytes)

Ceramic Vase  8      15" x 6.5" x 10"h  (3 views)




Ichino_Vase_9a.jpg (132800 bytes)Ichino_Vase_9b.jpg (130663 bytes)

Ceramic Vase  9     17.5" x 4.5" x 7"h  (2 views)




Ichino_Bowl_10b.jpg (99407 bytes)Ichino_Bowl_10a.jpg (113285 bytes)

Ichino_Bowl_11a.jpg (110368 bytes)Ichino_Bowl_11b.jpg (91402 bytes)

Ceramic Bowl  10 8.5" x 7.5" x 7"h  (2 views)





Ceramic Bowl  11   8.5" x 7" x 5.5"h  (2 views)




Ichino_Vase_13b.jpg (90139 bytes)Ichino_Vase_13a.jpg (83855 bytes)

Ichino_Bowl_14b.jpg (98036 bytes)Ichino_Bowl_14a.jpg (90525 bytes)

Ceramic Vase 13   11" x 4.5" x 4.5"h  (2 views)




Ceramic Bowl  14   8.5" x 8.5" x 6"h  (2 views)





Ichino_Bowl_12a.jpg (117545 bytes)Ichino_Bowl_12b.jpg (105816 bytes)

Ceramic Bowl  12    20" x 8" x 7"h  (2 views)



Ichino_IncenseBurner_Da.jpg (77706 bytes)Ichino_IncenseBurner_Dc.jpg (75776 bytes)

Ichino_IncenseBurner_Ea.jpg (107854 bytes)Ichino_IncenseBurner_Ec.jpg (102558 bytes)

Ceramic Incense Burner  E   4.5" x 4" x 6"h  (2 views)




Ceramic Incense Burner D    6" x 6" x 4.5"h  (2 views)




Ichino_Mizusashi_Ba.jpg (127579 bytes)Ichino_Mizusashi_Bb.jpg (127033 bytes)

Ceramic Mizusashi  B   8" x 7.5" x 6"h  (2 views)




Ichino_HangVase_16a.jpg (42161 bytes)

Ichino_HangVase_17a.jpg (41031 bytes)

Ceramic Hanging Vase  16   3" x 3" x 8.5"h




Ceramic Hanging Vase  17   3" x 3" x 8"h





Ichino_HangVase_18b.jpg (62917 bytes)

Ichino_HangVase_19a.jpg (56648 bytes)

Ceramic Hanging Vase  18   3" x 1.5" x 10"h





Ceramic Hanging Vase  19   3" x 1.5" x 9.5"h





Ichino_HangVase_20a.jpg (52657 bytes)

Ichino_HangVase_21b.jpg (50558 bytes)

Ceramic Hanging Vase  20   2.5" x 2.5" x 10"h



Ceramic Hanging Vase  21   2.5" x 2.5" x 10"h




Exhibitions & Awards

 1984  Hyogo Prefectural Arts and Crafts Exhibition

1986  All Kansai Art Exhibition

1987  Hyogo Prefectural Arts and Crafts Exhibition

1989  Cha-no-yu Show in the Tanabe Museum

1990  Japan Crafts Association Kinki Branch Exhibition

1991  Hyogo Prefectural Arts and Crafts Exhibition

1992  Hyogo Prefectural Arts and Crafts Exhibition

1992  Japan Traditional Crafts Exhibition

1992  Solo show, Gallery Osaka Hanshin, Osaka

1993  Japan Traditional Crafts Exhibition

1993  Recognition Award, Saga Daikakuji Flower and Ceramics Exhibition

1994  Japan Traditional Crafts Exhibition

1995  Japan Traditional Crafts Exhibition

1995  Nominated as permanent member of The Japan Crafts Association

1996  Japan Traditional Crafts Exhibition

1997  Solo show, Gallery Kobe Daimaru, Kobe

1997  Japan Traditional Crafts Exhibition

1998  Solo show, Gallery Tokyu, Tokyo

1998  Japan Traditional Crafts Exhibition

1998  Solo show, Gallery Kobe Daimaru, Kobe

1999  Solo show, Gallery Osaka Daimaru, Osaka

1999  Solo show, Gallery Shun, Tokyo

2000  Japan Traditional Crafts Exhibition

2000  Two Visions in Contemporary Tanba Pottery, Touching Stone Gallery, New Mexico, USA

2001  Japan Traditional Crafts Exhibition

2001  Solo show, Gallery Osaka Daimaru, Osaka

2001  Gallery Shun, Tokyo

2002  Solo show Dark Edge of Purple, Touching Stone Gallery, New Mexico, USA

2003  Solo show Crossing Purple, Touching Stone Gallery, New Mexico, USA

2004  Solo show, Gallery Tobu, Tokyo

2005  Evolving Traditions, Touching Stone Gallery, New Mexico, USA

2006  Solo show, Flame of Tradition, Touching Stone Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

2007  Solo show, Gallery Takashimaya, Yokohama

2008  Solo show Quiet Passion: Tanba Pottery I, Touching Stone Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA