How cool is it to have a style of pottery named after you?

That is exactly what happened to Furuta Oribe  (1544-1615).  He  was a Japanese tea master and student of Sen no Rikyū, the famous Japanese aesthete who is credited Oribewith popularizing the tea ceremony. When tea drinking and the tea ceremony became very popular in Japan during the late 1500s and early 1600s there was suddenly a huge demand for ceramics to use with tea, and therefore an explosion of new pottery production.


Sen no Rikyū apparently preferred very formal and refined ceramics that were Oribeimported from China. But his student Furuta Oribe preferred Japanese ceramics, specifically ones that he thought had a modern and much different look.

Oribe pottery is characterized by unevenly applied splotches of copper-green glaze against a pale or  white background, with shapes or geometic figures painted in brown on top. The pieces are often molded instead of thrown on a pottery wheel, and in larger pieces you can sometimes see the imprint of the cloth that was used the line the mold. Many of the most prized pieces have distorted or Oribeirregular shapes, and variety and individuality are prized over uniformity. Sets of Oribe ware that coordinate but do not match, like this 5-piece set of hashioki, are common.

Oribe is undoubtedly prized because its vivid green glaze coupled with brown and white accents evokes nature. It is a distinctive style of decoration, and is said to have been the first use of color glaze in Japanese ceramics.


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