Echizen Ware: Characteristics
Echizen ware refers to pottery manufactured in Echizen area, Nyu-gun in Fukui prefecture, mainly in Miyazaki and Oda districts.
Echizen clay is of rich iron content, possesses high fire resistance and is good for unglazed stoneware fired at very high temperature. As is fired at about 1,200-1,300 degrees, the pottery is very hard without water absorption or air hole, just like porcelain. The color changes from black-ash to reddish brown, and sometimes, woods turns out to be natural ash glaze due to the high temperature in the kiln, which are also parts of Echizen’s beautiful characteristics, especially adored by tea masters.
Echizen ware has been used as everyday utensils, such as large jars, wide-mouthed jars and grinding bowls. When making them, potters pile strings of clay by walking around the large pots without using wheels. This unique technique is taken over even now.