Shinji Watanabe's Chic Vessel

Mr. Shinji Watanabe, who makes pottery under the name of "Pottery Studio Ogiya" in Kita-Kamakura. I heard a lot of stories about the new arrival this time!
(Updated September 27, 2021)

Nobufumi Watanabe's pottery online sale

At the height of summer, I visited Mr. Watanabe's workshop by bicycle. Kamakura has many slopes, and there are many places where bicycles make you cry. In particular, Kita-Kamakura, the home of Masako Hojo, the wife of Minamoto no Yoritomo, has a rich and undulating terrain, and there are many paths that can only be passed on foot, steep slopes and stairs. Due to its topography and the virgin forests that are scattered about, Kita-Kamakura is a place where you can feel wonderfully calm and calm with the wonderful nature and the comfortable wind flow. It is clear that artists, writers, and other highly sensitive people have moved here from long ago.

Mr. Watanabe's home and workshop is located in a residential area at the end of a mountain road, where the wind blows comfortably through the beautiful texture of wood .

Even though I had been told in advance that there was a steep slope on the way, the owner greeted me in a sweaty state. I'm very sorry about that!

Mr. Watanabe is from Chiba Prefecture and studied ceramics at Musashino Art University.
After graduating, he worked as a staff member at Kutsui Suenosato, and built a kiln in Kamakura in 2006. Currently, while working as a writer, I also teach pottery to students as a lecturer at Komazawa Women's University.

In fact, a long time ago (about 20 years ago!?), Mr. Kutsui was the owner (husband) who treated his family to Japanese cuisine with his first salary. Since I've been visiting this shop from time to time, I'm sure that Mr. Watanabe's tableware was served to me.

The store name "Ogiya" was decided to close down the family hardware store that was run by her parents in Chiba, so she wondered if it would be possible to keep the store name alone, so it seems that the name was inherited as a pottery studio. At the workshop, they are making beautiful Japanese pottery every day.

The pottery shop (a shop that sells clay) that I used to be close to closed down, so I completed this ash glaze after trial and error with new clay. The new ash glaze is more penetrating than the previous one. Ash is a glaze made mainly of plant ash. Very elegant with its warm pale yellow color and delicate penetration.

Nobufumi Watanabe with ash glaze
Nobufumi Watanabe's Octagonal Plate with Ash Glaze

The elegant colors make the dishes delicious.

Nobufumi Watanabe Oval plate with ash glaze
Oval plate by Nobufumi Watanabe

Wasabi glaze has a refreshing and warm texture.

Nobufumi Watanabe's Octagonal Plate with Wasabi Glaze

Among Watanabe's works, the color is bright.

Nobufumi Watanabe Wasabi Glaze Octagonal Plate

The bright green color of the stylish wasabi glaze is perfect for Japanese, Western, desserts, and sweets.

Nobufumi Watanabe's wasabi-glazed vessel

You can enjoy different individuality.

Nobufumi Watanabe's wasabi-glazed vessels for sale

Although the black glaze is pottery, it has an antique texture that looks like metal.

Nobufumi Watanabe's black glaze plate mail order
Nobufumi Watanabe's compote dish

Firing using a technique called charcoal firing. By firing with charcoal, the carbon of the charcoal affects the glaze, creating a unique texture.

Nobufumi Watanabe black glaze octagonal dish large

A pattern drawn by the wax drawing technique. Patterns are drawn using the properties of wax that repel the glaze.

Unwaxed black glaze plate
Mr. Nobufumi Watanabe sells 7-inch plates made of black glaze without wax.

Mochihana is the motif for this one.
Mochi flower motif by Nobufumi Watanabe

Mochibana is a New Year's decoration that is displayed in some areas of Japan to pray for a bountiful harvest. It is a vessel that seems to be very useful for everyday use as well as for special occasions.

When I visited the workshop, the corona disaster was just calming down a little. As a greeting, I would like to ask you to come and see the work. Since they are of the same age, the story derails and they stay long. (⇒ It's mostly the shopkeeper's fault!) I thought I'd be able to visit him again next time, since I'm in the neighborhood, but after that, the situation of corona infected people became restless again. Unfortunately, I didn't take many pictures of the inside of the workshop. I hope that next time you will visit us, you will feel like you are visiting our workshop!

Mr. Watanabe's potter's wheel and long-time partner.
Watanabe Nobufumi's studio visit Watanabe Nobufumi's studio visit

When I visited, I remember feeling soothed by Mr. Watanabe's calm atmosphere, his gentle smile, and his elegant works, partly because I was worried about the future and because our store had just started. I'm here.

“Food” is an indispensable part of life. An important and essential act to live and enrich your life. Mr. Watanabe says that tableware that is used every day "plays an important role in creating an atmosphere at the dining table that makes the food you serve look more delicious." With that in mind, I carefully create each piece every day.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to me. I look forward to seeing your wonderful works in the future!

Click here for Mr. Shinji Watanabe's pottery
Nobufumi Watanabe mail order

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