色絵の器Iro-e vessels





The basic type of etsuke jiki, painted porcelain, is sometsuke, which uses blue colouring called gosu. The technical feature of sometsuke is painting on unglazed vessels before glazing and firing them. This technique is called shitae, meaning underglazed, as the pattern is painted under the smooth glaze.
In contrast, some vessels are more decorative using paints other than gosu to create brighter colours. These are known as iro-e or aka-e.

Colourings other than gosu are more difficult to handle and not suitable for firing at high temperatures. In order to achieve bright colours, they must be glazed and fired at a high temperature before being painted on, and then fired at a lower temperature thereafter.
The technique of Iro-e and aka-e, which is painting over a smooth glaze before firing, is different from sometsuke, and is called uwae, meaning overglazed.

The production of porcelain in Japan was introduced by potters from the Korean Peninsula in the 17th century, and its roots can be traced back to China.
The decorative techniques of the Ming and Qing dynasties of China, known as gosai, were the basis for iro-e. By adapting these techniques to the Japanese style, the glamorous styles of Ko-Imari (Old Imari) and Kutani Gosai were developed.
Among the colourings, red paint has a matt appearance. Other colours, such as blue and green, are applied by heaping rather than painting on the glaze. This then creates a plump layer on top of the glaze, giving it a three-dimensional appearance.
For this reason, iro-e vessels have a sense of dynamism, giving the impression of iro-e  as active movement in opposition to the sometsuke as stillness.

Have you ever heard of the words hare (the extraordinary) and ke (the ordinary), which divide our living time into two parts?
In modern life, the boundary between these two periods is becoming blurred. Yet still, the time of hare makes people’s hearts sing. Today, minimalist designs may be the preferred choice, but when it comes to enjoying a special hare occasion, I believe that the DNA of iro-e is timeless and ever-present, with its dynamism and glamour.

コハルアン KOHARUAN Kagurazaka Store

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