This beautiful “Purple Mist” guinomi is Shiro Hagi ware (萩焼, Hagi-yaki), a type of Japanese Pottery traditionally originated from the town of Hagi, Yamaguchi prefecture.
The Shiro (White) Hagi in particular, was developed by the Miwa family, one of the most highly regarded potting families in all of Japan. Their kiln was established in Kanbun 3 (1663) in the Matsumoto area of Hagi in order to produce tea utensils for Lord Mori Terumoto.
The origins of Hagi ware can be traced back to the arrival of Korean potters to Hagi on the Japan Sea, following Japan’s military invasion of Korean peninsula in the late 16th century. As a result, a large number of Korean craftsmen were abducted and transported to Japan, where they played a crucial role in establishing new pottery types such as Satsuma, Arita and Hagi ware (“hagi yaki”)
Two types of fine-grained soft clay are used as the base material. The earth is first mixed with water, then strained. During the process, wood chips are often added, causing the less dense parts to rise while the heavier parts sink to the bottom. This preparation process is repeated for two weeks until the water is entirely filtered without any residues, and the pure, fine clay is obtained from the bottom of the vat. The reddish to orange color of the clay is important as it will determine the texture and color of the Hagi surface.
The mixture for the black glaze has high levels of iron to enhance the contrast with the white glaze. The white glaze includes Feldspar and wood ash, and initially black and very thick in its viscosity. Typically, the potter dips pottery into the glaze for the white, and in extracting it by move it around for the glaze to drip slowly in the direction desired, aiming for the slowly dripping glaze to add dimension and movement to the piece. The carbon in the glaze evaporates during firing and turns into a translucent white, with the high iron glaze in black emerging from under the background.
The rich white glaze on earthy reddish brown base in the background of this guinomi, creates purply soft and dreamy appearance on this Hagi guinomi.