The multi-awarded Jun Nakao never thought that, one day, he would be taking over the family pottery business. It was only after training under Living National Treasure Manji Inoue for 7 years, that he started thinking of a career as an artisan.
Today, Jun Nakao co-runs the Nakasen Kiln together with his father Yasuzumi Nakao and his father’s brother Hidezumi Nakao.
Carrying on a 400-year legacy, Jun Nakao strives to further refine the Arita-Yaki techniques inherited from his ancestors while pursuing modern sensitivity.
His specialties are hakuji (white porcelain) and seihakuji (white porcelain with pale blue). The pureness of these colors combined with the gentle elegance of the shapes gives life to masterpieces of simple and practical beauty. A beauty brought out by the compound of two fundamental concepts:
- earth and fire (土と焔)
- the heart of the artisan (工人の心).
After carefully crafting the clay on the potter’s wheel, the piece is left to dry, then faceted and carved with lines. The first firing (biscuit firing) is executed at a temperature of 900° C (1652° F). Next, the piece is glazed and fired at a temperature of 1300° C (2372° F) in a gas kiln. Finally, transparent glaze is applied to bring out the vibrant white colour.
A technique that is delicate yet bold, producing artworks with symmetrical sloping edges or soft curves delivered by the vertically or diagonally finger-pressing, pinching and pulling of the clay.