Visiting Nishikawa family's kiln.
Nakadera kiln was started in 1991 by Kousei Nishikawa who was born in 1951. Before he started his own kiln he trained himself as a craftsman at Fumoto kiln (one of the historical kilns in the local area) for years.
The son, Tomonari is also creating unique works and training to take over the family business in the future.
The Nishikawa’s kiln is located in Arao, Kumamoto. Arao is famous for its historical "Shodai-yaki" area. It has been said that the Shodai-yaki has more than 400 years of history and has a unique ash glaze finish. The Nishikawa family are creating unique works while keeping the traditional Shodai-yaki technique.
When I visited Nakadera kiln, the young son Tomonari (and his Shiba dog) welcomed me. Tomonari kindly showed me around their work space and took me to the backyard to explain the process to create their works. Tomonari digs in the backyard to get the soil to create the clay for their works.
After digging, he soaks the soil in the water to remove the excess materials such as roots, etc. After that he scoops out the sticky pure part of the soil to make it into clay. It normally takes at least more than a month or more to extract the clay from the soil. Although this is what many other ceramicists do as well.
Kousei, the father, also makes the ashes to use for his glazes.
I'm so excited to see how the younger generations will grow in the future.