Takashi Baba is the third Bizen-yaki potter that I present on Thés du Japon. Nobuhara Katsushi, Yoshimoto Atsuo, then Baba Takashi. Three different styles of Bizen ware. Bizen-yaki could sometimes give a general impression of monotony, lack of diversity. Yet if with Nobuhara-san wa have indeed the classic Bizen style, gray clay by Yoshimoto-san are much less common. Similarly, Takashi Baba clearly stands out with its kuro-bizen (black earth with subtle nuances and sometimes blue, sometimes reddish, obtained by covering his pieces with a different clay very rich in iron) and its purple “yôhen” seems particularly striking. In fact, when I saw some of his works on the net, I was so impressed I immediately contact the association of Bizen potters in Inbe (the place of Bizen which happens to be the birthplace of Bizen-yaki) for details of this young potter.
Indeed, with these three potters, we have also three different generations. One is in his fifties, early forties for the second, and finally 31 for Baba-san. It is therefore a very young potter. I could add a 4th generation with Shuho, Yoshimoto Atsuo’s father.
Going back to our young potter, besides the cups and bowls found in his studio, a lot of eclectic objects, quite unusual shape, kinds of modern sculptures sometimes leaving not easily guess the functionality of the work. Indeed before continuing in the way of pottery like his father, Takashi studied sculpture in a very famous University of Fine Arts in Tokyo. Back in Inbe, this training certainly brought a wave of freshness allowing it to form its own Bizen-yaki style.
Here are some pictures of his cups available on Thés du Japon.
Categories: Tea ware and works by artisans