Kaneta Masanao Hagi Kurinuki Guinomi

Potter: Masanao Kaneta, 8th generation

Approximate size: W 2.6″ by H 2.7″ or 6.5 by 6.9 cm

Kaneta Masanao (1953), from Yamaguchi, is an eighth generation potter from the city of Hagi. Originally he learned throwing clay on a wheel from his father but later he drastically changed his style and stopped using the wheel entirely. This guinomi has exquisite yohen effects, where the firing temperature influenced and interacted with the glaze. In this cup a lovely pink that reminds me of the sun passing over valleys and mountain tops with a warm pink hue reminiscent of blooming cherry blossoms.

His is a distinctive style which has brought new energy and potential to the four hundred year old pottery tradition. Certainly one of Hagi’s most well known names. His work is displayed both nationally and internationally innumerable times.

The sculpting process starts by repeatedly throwing a lump of clay on a wooden board and then uses a wooden modeling tool to coax it into different shapes, leaving ridges and hollows which give the piece its dramatic shape. The interior is then gouged out to the required thickness and the exterior coated in glaze, resulting in pieces imbued with a strong presence which deftly showcase the true character of Hagi clay. A free spirit who expertly combines Hagi traditions with his own original creativity, Kaneta Masanao is highly regarded both by ceramic experts and pottery collectors.

This artist has given the traditional Hagi tea world a very sculptural feel with his kurinuki carved out method and boldly-cut forms. Some are mountainous cuts in creamy white glazes, while other pieces are more rounded Chojiro-esque (the founder of Raku), with a mottled blue ash glaze. He also gets a wonderful pink “yohen” kiln effect that contrasts well with the white Hagi glaze.

He has been in many museum exhibitions here in Japan, including the 400-year Hagi retrospective at the Suntory Museum and also a major group exhibition at the Ibaraki Prefecture Ceramic Art Museum. So does Kaneta’s works in public collections including the National Museum of Modern Art. Tokyo, Yamaguchi Prefecture Museum, Gifu Modern Ceramics Museum, and the Brooklyn Museum, among many others.

Masanao’s education as a sculptural artist has led to a highly sculptural approach to his work using the distinctive kurinuki technique of carving and scooping out forms from a solid block of clay to produce boldly-cut forms.

Kaneta Masanao (1953-) is a ceramic artist of Hagi Ware. He completed a masters course in sculpture at Tsukuba University and started making pottery under his father Sanzaemon in 1979. He succeeded to the name of the 8th Tenchozan Kiln in 2005. He produces unique ceramics using a technique called “Kurinuki” (hole), in which one digs out a sculpture or form out of a lump of clay. He won many awards and his works are stored in the Brooklyn Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Yokohama Museum of Art and many more. He has been displayed at the Nihon Dento Kogei Ten and Nihon Togei Ten among many many others.

This guinomi by Kaneta Masanao has no chips or cracks and is in great condition. It has started going through the first of seven stages of change Hagi-yaki is famous for and with daily use will continue to evolve. Comes with the original high quality shiho-san paulownia tomobako with kiln stamp and calligraphy on the lid, a stamped tomomuno (tea-cloth), and a informational pamphlet.


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