We interviewed Tokoname Hokujo (Mr. Shizu Genji) about Nanban Teapot.
SHIHA TEAPOT Hokujo Page : https://shihateapot.com/collections/hokujo
Nanban Teapot Requires High Skill and Complex Procedure
Nanban teapot is to enjoy the natural feels and rich texture (complex texture) .
It takes more time and need more technique to make Nanban teapot.
Each nanban teapot has its own unique texture and no two are alike.
Clay Making of Hokujo Nanban Teapot
Hokujo make own clay. Various types of particles are added such as soil, minerals, stones, lava etc. Some are crushed and added. To create a beautiful and natural teapot, materials to added are selected and the quantity and size are adjusted.
But he adds only small amount of particles. He would like to keep the naturalness of original clay. He would like people to feel the soil /earth and its naturalness.
Hokujo make only small amount of blend clay, and hand-blending. To make tasteful clay, volume-production can not make such a taste.
Forming of Hokujo Nanban Teapot
When making teapot form on potter’s wheel, very high skill is required for Nanban teapot. The clay has crashed grains, minerals, and lava etc. The clay is not flexible as standard clay to make form.
And the particles added can ruin smooth surface. For example, a grain can make scratches on the surface during forming on the turning potter’s wheel. Artist need pay more attention and require high skill when forming.
To make surface “natural” and “tasteful” (not too smooth), when making body of the teapot on potter’s wheel, artist doesn’t use left hand so much. (not touch the surface of the body so much to keep the natural feels)
To make Nanban Teapot, it takes 3 times longer time than making a regular teapot on the wheel.
Firing of Hokujo Nanban Teapot
The clay has complex material, and the shrink rate of the materials are different. If it doesn’t control well, teapot can have a problem such as water leak.. Success rate is lower than standard clay.