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Kichiemon Porcelain Co., Ltd.

吉右ヱ門製陶所

Kichiemon Porcelain Co., Ltd. was founded in 1673 in Arita which is a production area of porcelain. At the time of its establishment, they were producing sake decanter which was a main product in the Sotoyama area of Arita. Although the fire of their kiln had once ceased, they resumed production of porcelain in 1950, right after the war. In order to achieve product differentiation in Arita where the painting in Sometsuke style is popular, this company introduced another painting technique called “Icchin drawing (slip)”. With this technique of adding raised decoration on the surface of the ceramic body, Kichiemon began to focus on production of tableware for professional-use. As they can prepare their original glazes in their specialty of “Icchin”, the rich expression created by the variety of colours is appealing. Besides, taking advantage of the skill of metal-casting learned in university, the current president Mr. Yoshiyasu Harada has developed a novel decorative technique to apply foamy glaze to the surface of porcelain after 10 years of experiment. This technique named as “Awagesho” means foamy embellishment and it opens the way of new expression based on the existing technique of “Icchin”. While returning to the foundation built by his grandfather and father the promising son of Kichiemon embodies the idiom “visiting old, learn new”.

吉右ヱ門製陶所の創業は1673年。創業当時は、有田外山地区の特徴であった徳利作りなどを行なっていた。その後、一度は窯の火が途絶えたものの、戦後間もない1950年に作陶を再開。染付による絵付けが主流の有田で、釉薬の工夫をすることで他社との差別化を図った。また、「イッチン描き」と呼ばれる、器の表面に盛り上がった装飾を施す技法を取り入れるなどして、業務用食器の製造に注力していく。吉右ヱ門窯では「イッチン描き」の釉薬を自社で調合しているため、豊かな色表現が強みだ。さらに、現社長の原田吉泰さんは、学生時代に鋳金を学んだ経験を活かし、10年の歳月をかけて、泡状の釉薬を表面に塗る装飾技法を開発。「泡化粧」と名付け、イッチンの技法をベースに、新しい表現を切り拓いている。祖父や父親の代が築いてきたものに立ち返りながらも、新たなかたちを追求する吉右ヱ門窯の新星は、「温故知新」を体現し続ける。

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