As a child, the firing of the wood furnace by her potter father, during the long hot summers in Japan, was for Tomoko Marayama, a “matsuri” – a Japanese festival. Now as a potter herself, Tomoko, uses the same wood burning furnace to fire her own pots. Tomoko believes that there is something magical about using the wood burning furnace – the way the ash creates a beautiful antiqued effect on the glaze and how, like a hungry child, it needs to be fed constantly with the wood.
Tomoko Murayama trained as a potter and painter in Arita, a town famed for its porcelain in Japan. In a studio housed within a former silk worm farm, nestled in the village of Kuwagai, Kyoto Prefecture, she now hand throws and paints exquisite blue and white works, which are wonderfully reminiscent of China’s blue and white wares (in Chinese 青花 qīng-huā, literally “blue flowers”). Drawing inspiration from children’s book for her designs, her works could be said to be works of delicate strength and beauty.