On offer today is a rare opportunity to acquire a great sake cup by the man who literally wrote the book on anagama firing.
There is certainly nothing I can say about Furutani Michio (1946-2000) that hasn't already hasn't been said. Few Iga/Shigaraki potters are as well known, and his publications on kiln construction are required reading for ANY potter wishing to take on the monumental task of firing in this ancient manner. Better put, here's this gem from my Western friend and potter, Robert Fornell:
"When I asked Tsujimura Shiro which potters he respected there was a long pause, then he said Furutani Michio. Any one else, I asked?.... "No."
Furutani wrote the Bible on anagama construction and firing, saying the kiln is a tool. If it doesn't fire in a way you're looking for, tear it down and rebuild it. A collection of bricks as it were..."
Given his untimely passing was 20 years ago now, few pieces at this level pop up for sale, and even fewer are obtained without pricey gallery markups.
This cup was put through the full test of Furutani's low-roofed kiln, and as a result of the intense firing, it displays every Iga trait you could hope for. From the sunset toned flashes surrounding what little bare clay remains, to the flowing green natural ash deposits and its scorched surroundings of charcoal, bronze and mauve. A bold foot gives the piece just the right amount of lift to bring the slouched form to life. The lip is visually rough but completely smooth to the touch, as all good, usable wares of this style need to be.
Included is the original signed box, stamped cloth and insert outlining the potter's career. Condition of the cup and packaging are excellent with no flaws to speak of.
Price is $200 + $10 shipping to the USA, I will ship internationally at the buyer's risk and expense, but please contact me for a quote before committing. Payment to be made via PayPal.
Please let me know if you have any questions or need additional pics. Thanks for looking!