Meeting Mr. Konishi Yohei


Konishi Yohei's profile (click here)


I had a chance to visit the renowned craftsman Mr. Konishi Yohei at his kiln in June, 2009.

Having read his book which contains images of pieces produced in the past, I considered myself familiar with Konishi's work. However I was overwhelmed to be welcomed by a wide range of ceramic objects in the entrance area to his house and workshop.

Further delights were to be found in his backyard. Artistic pieces seemingly placed at random among the greenery create a magical outdoor exhibition space celebrating the harmony of man-made art and nature.

(see picture at left)



Mr. Konishi Yohei seems to prefer the title of "craftsman" over "artist".For me he appears as both, a craftsman devoted to his craft and an artist with a great passion which provides the energy for his unique and imaginative pieces.

With a career spanning 5 decades, Yohei is now returning to his original passion of creating teapots.

He regularly rambles around Tokoname and the surounding area with his grandson, collecting various samples of local clay.

Grass and rocks are removed from the clay by hand personally by Yohei himself and he crushes it in a mixer over and over to obtain fine clay. This is a time-consuming process and illustrates perfectly the committment he has to his craft.


Even now he admits to being surprised at the power of different types of clay. The quest for new findings seems to be never-ending.

Anagama (cave kiln) with Mr. Konishi Yohei


His wood-fired pieces are fired for three days in this kiln. This kind of wood-fired kiln has to be attended constantly during this period.





The local clay which Yohei uses is precious because of the time-consuming production process and can only be made in limited quality.

Because of this, he preferes to make two small teapots rather than one big one.

Each teapot pictured at left is made with a single type of clay.

The teapots in the top row are fired in an anagama.

The teapots in the second row are fired in a gas kiln under reduced firing.

The teapots in the third row are made under oxidized firing.


These teapot samples which he is currently making are for donating to museums or libraries for reference purposes. This is also how tradition is passed onto future generations.





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