Koji Kitaoka

I try to create pieces with my own hands, which are simple and bear a tranquil presence. I hope that they are used often by as many people as possible.

After graduating from university in Tokyo, I moved to London and lived there for two years. There, I worked at a local restaurant while studying at a language school. Moving back to Tokyo and experiencing several types of jobs, I started to think that I wanted to make something that keeps will keep me ambitious and inquisitive. I also realized I was good at creative work. Then pottery, which was my father's profession, came to my mind and I thought I would give it a try.



From 2007, I studied at Arita College of Ceramics for two years. After graduation, I worked at a pottery studio in Toki, Gifu for a year.
In 2010, I moved back to Fukuoka, my hometown, to work at my father's studio and got established. My studio is in an environment of small forests, about 10 kilometers from the center of Fukuoka city.
I try to create pieces with my own hands, which are simple and bear a tranquil presence. I hope that they are used often by as many people as possible.

About my production process

I don't cling to technique or materials themselves. I choose an approach that I feel is required for what I want to create at a given moment.
Basically all my pieces are thrown on the potter's wheel with my hands. I repeat the process of firing, trying out and then retouching the points that concern me. Then I raise the degree of perfection of the design, shape and usability.
As for the choice of materials, my primary rule is that they can be fired over 1250℃ in order to gain adequate durability for daily use. I try adding glazes and choose the one that produces the texture I'm looking for.

How to care for Japanese tableware

Japanese tableware (ceramic ware) usually requires care called "filling" before the very first use. "Filling" minimizes the stains that leak in the cracks developed in the glaze and closes up the rough, porous clay surface. In addition, "filling" on a regular basis helps to prevent small cracks and prolong usage lifetime. To let the pieces sit in and absorb water before serving food on them also prevents odor transfer.

Procedure for “filling”

- Put rice water (water left over from washing rice) or starchy water in a pot and stir well.
- Put the piece in the water and simmer over low heat for about 10 to 20 minutes. Take it out and leave till it is cooled down.
- Then wash to remove the sliminess and dry thoroughly.
※For big pieces such as earthenware pots or large dishes which do not fit in a pot, pour rice water directly to the pieces. After an hour or two, drain the water and wash.

It is not possible for “filling” to prevent absorption into the cracks developed in the glaze perfectly. Those cracks in the glaze get colored over time. We hope you enjoy those changes as if cultivating them.