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Kunitaro Kasai's DAISY Series

Mr. Kunitaro Kasai, whose simple flower-patterned bowls brighten up the dining table and heart / A person who makes bowls in Kyoto ⑥

We spotlight people who make things in Kyoto and introduce their thoughts and works. This time, we introduce Kunitaro Kasai, who became independent in Kyoto after training at a Kutaniyaki pottery. The gentle atmosphere of his vessels with flower motifs is heartwarming.

1.Expresses nostalgia and warmth like photos from old cookbooks

The nostalgic atmosphere of the vessels with dainty little flowers scattered on them. All of Kunitaro Kasai's works, including his signature DAISY series, have a simple warmth in their retro-modern design.

Kunitaro Kasai's DAISY Series

The image that comes to mind is a picture of a home-cooked meal from an old cookbook I had at home when I was a child. I want to express the happy atmosphere of a home in my works," says Kasai. I hope to express the happy atmosphere of a home in my works," says Kasai.

Kunitaro Kasai's DAISY Series

Born in Hokkaido, Kasai's father was also a potter, and he grew up watching his father's back. Still, he had no intention of becoming a potter before. I studied graphic design at art college and then worked as a designer at a company in Kyoto. I liked general merchandise and often visited stores, but when I saw the vessels in their products, I felt again that they were familiar to me. The idea of trying pottery naturally came to me, and I decided to become a potter," he said.

2.After training at a Kutaniyaki kiln, a more personal work of art was born.

After graduating from a pottery school in Kyoto, Kasai returned to Ishikawa Prefecture, where he spent his college years, and joined Kutani Seigama. At Kutani Seigama, which has inherited the traditions of Kutaniyaki while creating works in its own unique style, he says he learned a great deal. At Kutani Seigama, I was in charge of everything from design to painting, and I was able to create vessels under my own name rather than as a potter, which was very stimulating. I was also taught the importance of imagining the modern dining table and the people who will use it, which has greatly influenced my current creations.

Kunitaro Kasai's DAISY Series

The DAISY series was first noticed by HANI, became a standard item, and has many fans. The vase itself is made of red clay with high iron content, and the plump little flowers on the rim are painted with white clay and iron paint. The red clay that appears everywhere, including on the rim, is rich in flavor and expression. Clockwise from top: DAISY 6" plate, 3,500 yen; DAISY long rectangular plate, 3,500 yen, with a flower pattern on the inside for a prettier look, "goes well with Japanese sweets such as dango.

After six years of training at Kutani Seigama, Kasai became independent in Kyoto and launched the brand HANI. In pursuit of creating his own unique works of art, he made a major change in direction from porcelain to ceramics in his new brand. Rather than using bright colors, he began to use more subdued colors in his decorations.

HANI's standard series, DAISY, uses the "itchin" technique to create a three-dimensional floral pattern in white clay. The white glaze is used to create a matte texture. The flowers depicted in Kasai's work are not too assertive, but have an exquisite presence that accompanies the food. The soft atmosphere that reflects Kasai's gentle personality is one of the charms of her works.

3.The new series also makes the user happy.

The FOLKS series, which was born last year, is based on chic colors, and a single carved flower looks beautiful as if illuminated by light. It is fun to think about what kind of food to serve with this accent flower.

FOLKS series by Kunitaro Kasai

FOLKS 6" plate, 3,800 yen; FOLKS bowl, 3,800 yen FOLKS means "everyone" or "friends. FOLKS" means "everyone" or "friends," and it is a wish that everyone will use it in their daily lives. The carved flower pattern is expressed impressively with iron paint and the color of the fabric itself.

In the future, I would like to make pieces with a more mature taste, but no matter what series I make, I would like to create vessels that make people happy," says Kasai. But no matter what series I make, I want to create vessels that make the user happy," says Kasai. He will continue to hold exhibitions several times a year. Information will be posted on Instagram from time to time, so be sure to check back. We eagerly await the birth of new works to see what kind of vessels will bring smiles to our faces next.

Works by Kunitaro Kasai

The DAISY cup and saucer (5,700 yen) has a delightful little flower that appears at the bottom of the cup when you finish drinking. The FOLKS cup and saucer (5,800 yen) is available in black and moss green. It is just the right size to fit in your hand.

4.Profile of Kunitaro Kasai

Kunitaro Kasai
fireman (in Edo)
Born in Hokkaido in 1977. After graduating from Kanazawa College of Art, Department of Design, worked as a graphic designer and went to Kyoto Prefectural College of Advanced Ceramic Technology. After training at Kutani Seigama in Ishikawa Prefecture, he launched his brand HANI in Kyoto in 2016. [The name "HANI" is derived from Hani, which means earth.

PHOTO/Takahiro Takami, TEXT/Eiko Itakura

*Please note that the information contained herein is subject to change without notice.
*Since this site uses automatic translation, the translation may differ from the original Japanese content.

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