Itō Sekisui V Japanese

Not on view

This large rectangular plate, with a variant of checkered pattern in contrasting colors of clay, is a product of the Sekisui family kiln in Aikawa, on Sado Island. The artist, Itō Sekisui V, is the 14th generation craftsman in a family of potters; he was designated a Living National Treasure by the Japanese government in 2003. Like his Itō family predecessors, he works with a type of ochre clay called mumyōi, a byproduct of Sado Island’s gold mines. Red mumyōi clay contains a high level of iron oxide and fires to a deep rusty-red shade, as seen in this vessel. Sekisui is a skilled master of neriage, one of his signature techniques, which involves kneading or wedging different colored clays together and then slicing cross sections to reveal a marbled pattern. The sliced clay is then pieced together, resulting in ceramics that have the appearance almost of painted wares.

Plate, Itō Sekisui V (Japanese, born 1941), Marblelized stoneware, Japan

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