Onta-yaki is exclusively made by 10 families in Onta, a small village in Kyushu, Japan. Often described as existing in another time, Onta is home to a style of pottery passed directly from father to son in a chain of patrilineal succession unbroken since the original kiln’s founding in 1705.
As a ceramic style that invokes tunes of a simpler life; Onta has preserved a style of producing ceramics that remain highly unchanged throughout the generations. Production relies on a rigorous process of preparing the clay, typically carried out by the women in the family. Converting the area's difficult soil into workable clay involves first breaking the soil down into powder at on-site, water-powered "kara-usu" plumping mills. The powder is then reconstituted with water and dried slightly to a workable consistency. No modern machinery is used in the production process at all. All wares are manufactured exactly the way they were when the village was set up 300 years ago.
Onta is a tight-knit community, especially given that the families of potters have been working together for multiple generations. Pieces are never signed by an individual but only with the sign of the Onta village. This is to signify that the production of a single vessel was the combined work of the community, not just one person.
Onta-yaki traditionally consists of utility vessels such as bowls, plates, and tea cups. Once processed, Onta clay expresses itself with a very smooth character and a beautiful brownish-yellow color that fires to a darker brown because of a high iron content. Most pieces are decorated with a slip that fires to light cream white, and because of the neutrality of its earth-tone finish Onta-yaki is considered ideal tableware for bringing out the color of food on the table.
- Sold individually; each cup is handmade and one of a kind - Dimensions: 4" across x 2.75" tall