Traditional Japanese porcelain ware goes for modern look — with stunning results!

Traditional Japanese porcelain ware goes for modern look — with stunning results!

Ishikawa Prefecture , located on the central west coast of the Japanese main island, is known for its fresh seafood and unique brand of locally grown Kaga vegetables , as well as being home to the magnificent Kenroku-en , one of the three great gardens of Japan. It is also an area with a rich cultural and artistic heritage, including the porcelain craft of Kutani . Produced mainly in the southern part of Ishikawa Prefecture, Kutani ware is a style of colorful glazed porcelain with a history that dates back to the middle of the 17th century. Well, according to a post on Japanese information compilation site Naver Matome , it seems that the traditional craft is now receiving some renewed attention, as it adapts to more modern tastes with bright, pop designs. And once we saw some of the pictures, we could understand why people were taking notice — the works are positively stunning, not to mention outrageously cute!

The Naver Matome article mentions that there are several factors that have allowed Kutani ware to “evolve” with the times. A huge factor has to be the willingness of Kutani workshops and designers to experiment and create innovative, modern designs while keeping the traditional techniques alive. Kutani ware may tend to be thought of as being classic and formal, something to be used on special occasions, but some of the workshops are aiming to produce Kutani that is more casual and suited for everyday  use. Below are some lovely examples.

▼These wares have simple designs, but with bright colors.Traditional Japanese porcelain ware goes for modern look — with stunning results!

Photo: Gallery Suifuyo

▼These cups are also not elaborately decorated, but still have a pop look.Traditional Japanese porcelain ware goes for modern look — with stunning results!

Photo: Gallery Suifuyo

▼The prints on these plates are definitely cute and funky!Traditional Japanese porcelain ware goes for modern look — with stunning results!

Photo: ama gallery

▼And there are even designs involving skateboards!Traditional Japanese porcelain ware goes for modern look — with stunning results!

Photo: Kutani Choemongama Online Shop

▼The colorful illustrations on these boxes are adorable!Traditional Japanese porcelain ware goes for modern look — with stunning results!

Photo: ama gallery blog

▼Of course, you can’t go wrong with cat illustrations.Traditional Japanese porcelain ware goes for modern look — with stunning results!

Photo: Fumikichi

▼For comparison, this is what a more traditional Kutani piece looks like. Traditional Japanese porcelain ware goes for modern look — with stunning results!

Photo: AMAZON.JP

Another factor that has given Kutani ware the versatility to adapt and appeal to a wider range of consumers is the Kutani sticker. While conventional Kutani techniques require artists to hand paint each picture onto the ware,  this sticker allows you to easily stick on various designs any way you like, and the result is practically indiscernible from traditionally crafted Kutani ware. Apparently, there are even workshops held periodically in different areas of Japan where you can learn how to create an original piece with the stickers.

▼These Kutani stickers allow you to “stick on and create” freely.Traditional Japanese porcelain ware goes for modern look — with stunning results!

Photo : Kutani Seal News

▼Here’s a video that shows the process of using the Kutani stickers.

▼These wares are obviously for daily use, but the stickers  give them a fun, bright look. Traditional Japanese porcelain ware goes for modern look — with stunning results!

Photo : Kutani Seal News

▼Western designs are also adorable, like the king on this plate. Traditional Japanese porcelain ware goes for modern look — with stunning results!

Photo: Choemongama Online Shop

▼These mini-plates are decorated with horse images to commemorate the year of the horse in 2014.Traditional Japanese porcelain ware goes for modern look — with stunning results!

Photo: Kutani Seal News

▼The delicate illustrations on these chopstick holders are also made with the Kutani stickers.Traditional Japanese porcelain ware goes for modern look — with stunning results!

Photo: Kutani Seal News

▼Some more animal images: Who would have thought that boars could be so cute?Traditional Japanese porcelain ware goes for modern look — with stunning results!

Photo: Claska Online Shop

▼This is another attractive sticker creation — the beige of the dog looks beautiful against the white of the plate and the sheep. Traditional Japanese porcelain ware goes for modern look — with stunning results!

Photo: Kutani Seal News

▼Snowmen and penguins look like a winning combination — but then, what else would you expect when you put two cute images together?Traditional Japanese porcelain ware goes for modern look — with stunning results!

Photo: Kutani Seal News

▼This cup looks gorgeous with all the colorful small prints in different shapes.Traditional Japanese porcelain ware goes for modern look — with stunning results!

Photo: Kutani Seal News

▼What an exquisite-looking tea pot! Just seeing this pot is sure to make tea time a whole lot more fun.Traditional Japanese porcelain ware goes for modern look — with stunning results!

Photo: Kutani Seal News

Another aspect of Kutani ware that demonstrates the craft’s willingness to adapt is their collaboration with fictional characters, which has resulted in some adorable original works.

▼For example, there are Totoro mini-cups …Traditional Japanese porcelain ware goes for modern look — with stunning results!

Photo: AMAZON.JP

▼… and Totoro plates as well, both products in lovely, soft pastel colors.Traditional Japanese porcelain ware goes for modern look — with stunning results!

Photo: Chikyuya Online Shop

▼Then there’s also the figure of superhero Ultraman made of Kutani porcelain …Traditional Japanese porcelain ware goes for modern look — with stunning results!

Photo: Nomi City website

▼… and even a figure of Ultraman’s notable enemy, Alien Baltan .Traditional Japanese porcelain ware goes for modern look — with stunning results!

Photo: Nomi City website

So, what did you think of theses modern Kutani pieces? We thought they look amazing, and we hope  you enjoyed looking at the pictures as much as we did. Really, we had no idea traditional Japanese porcelain workshops were producing such unconventional-looking pieces,  so we have to say we were pleasantly surprised. If you’re ever in Ishikawa Prefecture, these could make for some awfully neat souvenirs. (Oh, and if you’re in Kanazawa, the capital city of Ishikawa Prefecture, don’t forget to also taste some of the lovely sushi available in the city, and maybe even take a ride on a sushi taxi !) We look forward to seeing more exciting new products from the Kutani workshops, because we certainly liked what we saw, and in our opinion, there can never be too much “cute” in this world!

Source: Naver Matome (Japanese)

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Traditional Japanese porcelain ware goes for modern look — with stunning results!