Artist in Residence

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Kouraku Kiln’s Artist in Residence program

We are a Japanese Porcelain factory with a Craft and Culture school.
We teach Arita porcelain making as well as the history and culture of the Hizen region.

Kouraku kiln has been collaborating with international artists and designers for more than 20 years. In 2013 the kiln decided to offer an Artist in Residence program to host artists from around the world. The goal of our residency is to give a chance to foreigners to discover, learn about and produce Arita porcelain. We offer lodging, studio space, equipment and technical support in a cultural and historical setting. During your stay you will also learn about Arita’s 400 years of porcelain evolution. We will guide you through the town’s historical sights, museums and famous kilns as part of the residency. You will meet and interact with the local craftment community.

Whether you want to do hand building, slip casting, potter’s wheel or Japanese enamel decorating, we will assist you in your creation. You can perfect or learn new skills, creating pieces from start to finish. Or you can concentrate on one specific aspect of the production. The classes and workshops are usually given during weekdays but the studio space is available 24h for you to practise and create at your own speed.

Our program can be adapted to any level of knowledge or skills. Whether you are looking to explore porcelain making for the first time or you are planning to design and produce a new line of products, we will cater to your needs.
Ceramic is intricately connected to Japanese culture, therefore we also offer activities related to that aspect. These are pay as you go and vary depending on season and holidays.They are taught by local certified Japanese teachers and we provide the interpretation if needed (English, Frenshe, Corean). For example, we offer Ikebana (flower arrangement) or Omotesenke tea ceremony experience. There is also tea harvesting in Nagasaki prefecture’s Sonogi region at a small family farm (depending on season and weather) and much more.

Technical aspects you can learn in the program include;
-Hand building, wheel throwing or slip casting. 
-Glazing (You can glaze your pieces with the kiln’s current glazes or you can create your own glaze with our affiliated glaze manufacturer.) 
-Painting and decal application (You can learn how to paint with the underglaze or overglaze enamel used in Arita. Use the kiln’s decal transfer decoration or you can also create your own unique decals.)
-Plaster mould making. 

Cultural part of our program includes;
-Museum and gallery visits.
-Historical sights and famous Kiln visits.
-Saga and Nagasaki Sightseeing and festivals, depending on the season.

Also available separately 
-Ikebana (flower arrangement)
-Omotesenke Tea ceremony (experience, workshop or weekly classes)
-Tea picking or Tea roasting experience.
-Climbing kiln and Raku firing 
-Marbling workshop (Nerikomi)
-Hirado Sweet making workshop
-Master class (Potter’s wheel or overglase enamelling)

Please note we recommend a minimum of 2 weeks for the program as time is needed to create porcelain.
If you have any more questions please feel free to contact us.

Current pricing for the residency as of June 2022, based on a one month stay.
The flat fee for 30 days (4 weeks) is 300,000¥.
However, it can be adapted to any length of stay.

1 months (4 weeks) 300,000 ¥ (Japanese yen) fee includes;
 〇Housing in our guest house:
   Private bedroom.
   Shared; bathroom, kitchen, living-room, coin laundry.
 〇Studio space (24h access):
  Potter’s wheel,
  40kg of porcelain clay
  All the basic tools.
  Access to the studio kitchen, library and Wifi
 〇Firing, bisque, glaze and enamel.
 〇Classes (Japanese style) Potter’s wheel, Underglaze Gosu painting, Arita style enemaling. 
 〇Support from the kiln staff.
 〇A rental bicycle for getting around town. Arita is a small town and it is easy to access the food market and other shops by bike.