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The Bear of Echizen

A "world of fire, a world all dark, totally red ..."

Kumano at shrine

Welcome to the home page of Kumano Kurouemon, a unique wood-fire art potter who toils in isolation in the snow country on the "back side" of Japan.

Kumano shaping a large vaseThis site is maintained by admirers of Kumano who believe his powerful works in clay stand out like volcanoes on the rim of the Japanese pottery tradition — distinctive, beautiful, challenging — and should be experienced by as many lovers of ceramics as possible worldwide.

Kumano's production is small and his pieces until fairly recently were rarely seen outside of Japan (see Writings links). However, a large solo exhibition was hosted by Germany's Keramikmuseum Westerwald in 2004–05, followed by a month-long workshop at Fachhochschule Koblenz in 2006, so at least some Europeans are getting to know the man and his work a little better.

Similarly, in the United States, a few years ago Kumano led a highly acclaimed workshop in Piedmont College (Athens, Georgia). This September 16–19, 2016, he is returning there, and also visiting Bridgwater State University (Bridgewater, Massachusetts), from Sept. 21–23. (If you are anywhere near these locations, traveling to meet Kumano is highly recommended. You will not soon forget the encounter).

New Sale Pieces for Summer 2016

Still recovering from conducting two exhausting firings in 2015, Kumano, who just turned 61, has not yet gone into kiln battle this year. However, to make up for that, he carefully selected for this web update sixteen exceptional pieces from a hidden reserve akin to a "personal trove.":

Go to update Summer 2016

Among the sixteen, you will find superb examples of many of his iconic shapes and glazes, as well as a rare dwarf tea bowl and pair of extraordinary beer mugs! The pieces can be found by clicking on: Sales Page.

Kumano, Peter, Kayoko

We look forward to hearing from you.

Peter Ujlaki


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