A traditional craft for contemporary life

The Kaike kiln is the second kiln established by accomplished Tottori potter Kasho Ando, the first being Shokagama. Kaike-gama was built in 1961 in the seaside hot spring town of Kaike. Since it is not far from Shimane Prefecture’s Matsue City, which is known for tea ceremony, Kaike-gama was known in particular for tea bowls and other tea utensils in previous generations.

Today, the kiln is run by Kasho Ando’s grandson, 3rd-generation potter, Seiji Ando. Over the years, the kiln’s location has become a residential area. Adapting to the times, the wood-burning kiln has been retired for an electric one to reduce smoke, and more tableware for daily life is being produced here. Seiji, who builds community through regular pottery lessons and exhibitions for young artisans, is always devising new designs to fit with contemporary society while using traditional glazes to remain true to the aesthetic of Kaike-gama ware.

Expanding the craft of kaike-gama

Initially, Seiji Ando did not plan to follow in his father’s footsteps, and decided to work at a company instead. But after five years, he realized that being able to take over the family business was a rare and valuable opportunity, and so returned to Tottori to apprentice under his father. He also studied ceramics in Arita, Saga Prefecture, where there is a rich porcelain tradition. While producing pottery at Kaike-gama, he incorporates porcelain crafting techniques, to further expand the craft of Kaike-gama ware.