Tajimi is the home of Mino ware, a style of Japanese pottery with a history of over 1,300 years. Eiji Miyaki set up his workshop and set out on his own creative endeavor in a corner of his parent’s Mino ware wholesale house.
“The production of Mino ware is normally divided into steps, each handled by craftsmen with specialized skills. Whereas I perform all steps singlehandedly, from mold making to glost firing. I make the designs from scratch.”
Miyaki uses the traditional ikomi casting technique, which introduced standardized molds and made mass production possible. Except Miyaki even makes the molds themselves, and through that process, he says he discovered designs that were uniquely his. In the Drippy Mug series, for instance, he forms soft-hued pieces of pottery with an original blend of clays, and finishes them with accents of glaze trickling down the sides. Dynamic, one-off, eye-catching design meets stackable, utilitarian form characteristic of ikomi casting.
In the past few years, Miyaki has expanded his horizons beyond ceramics to glassware employing an old French technique called pâte de verre (paste of glass). “Pâte de verre involves the use of molds too. For me, the glass is like an extension of the ceramic glaze.”
Miyaki’s creative endeavor will continue, taking advantage of molds and yet not fitting the conventional mold of Mino ware.