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Do you know the pottery technique called “firefly hand”? It has its roots in China during the Ming Dynasty, and refers to the expression of patterns that appear to stand out by filling openwork bases with transparent veneers and firing them.

Hiroshi Taruta says that the difficult thing about hotarute is that it doesn't allow you to say, "Well, okay." Hotarute, which is made by turning a potter's wheel to carve and make holes in the porcelain body, is also a way to intentionally lower the strength of the pottery. At the age of 23, Mr. Taruta started working on this technique, which requires meticulous attention to detail in each process, with the risk of cracking during molding and baking. 

Firefly hand of "line"

Generally, the watermark carving of firefly hands has many “round holes”, but Mr. Taruta chose “lines”. Since the opening before applying the glaze becomes larger, the production of the pottery becomes much more difficult, but the light that leaks from the "line" is like the light from between the clouds, like the light from the club, which I like. , and talk.

Due to the high degree of difficulty, there are not many people who work on the line hotarute. I was.

To the road that no one has stepped on yet

Mr. Taruta was born and raised in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture. It was when she chose her path in high school that she decided to pursue pottery ("I chose it by process of elimination," she recalls, telling me). She liked arts and crafts, so she decided to study ceramics at Seto Pottery High School (currently Aichi Prefectural Seto Technical High School), which had a history of more than 100 years. There were many commuters during the one-and-a-half-hour commute from her home, and when Ms. Taruta saw the tired office workers, her feelings of "I don't want to be hired by someone" and "I want to do something myself" gradually became stronger. increase.

After graduating from high school, she completed a two-year major (Ceramics) before studying with ceramic artist Masanori Hatano in 2007. Mr. Taruta now says, "I want to do everything by myself." During her break at 3:00 p.m., she often talked with her teacher, and one time, she said, "It's good to pursue one thing." At that time, I wanted to create various things by combining woodwork and metalwork, and I was searching for my own unique expression.

After that, Mr. Taruta, who was busy exhibiting at public exhibitions and working at a ceramics high school, had a turning point in 2015 when he traveled around Europe for 10 months. While visiting pottery schools in southern Germany and visiting potters in West Germany, North Germany, and Sweden to observe European pottery, Hotarute's works, which were said to have a "European atmosphere" in Japan, were popular in Europe. is evaluated as "Japanese-like". From this experience, I was convinced that if I pursued Hotarute, I would be able to create a unique form of expression that no one else had explored.

It's important to do things that only you can do, and create things from zero to one. Mr. Taruta speaks with all his might. Many of the pieces I'm making now are tableware, and there are "rules", so it's still easy to make. In the future, he says he wants to challenge such unconventional art. The work "Yuragi", which won the Excellence Award at the "1st Japanese Culture Grand Prix" held this year, shows this direction.

After about 20 hours of firing, the work that was taken out of the kiln was 15 cm in height, which was larger than the usual work.

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