KYO YAKI 京焼 / KIYOMIZU-YAKI 清水焼
Kyo- and Kiyomizu-yaki are terms often used together or interchangeably for stoneware or porcelain pottery produced in the ancient imperial city of Kyoto, and are representative of a wide variety of different styles of ceramics. From 794 to 1603, Kyoto was the imperial capital and attracted the most skilled artisans in the country. Even after the seat of government was moved to Edo, now Tokyo, Kyoto remained the cultural and intellectual centre of Japan. As such, it attracted Japan's most skilled artisans, who were supported by the nobility as well as the purchasing power of the market. This gave Kyô-yaki a special status in Japanese ceramics and for a long time it even determined the style of the whole country. Typical Kyoto wares are decorated with colourful, hand-painted motifs using overglaze enamel pigments: a technique that emerged in the 17th century and is still a trademark of Kyo-yaki today.
KESSHO-YU 結晶釉 / "CRYSTAL" GLAZE
The kessho-yu is a glaze that forms crystals as it melts and cools. When fired in the Touan kiln, this crystallisation process is manipulated to create unique, floral patterns on the surface - hence the name kessho-yu 花結晶 "crystal flower".