How did I get to work in Kourakukiln?
Originally I was working at another kiln, but when I retired and was an instructor at Arita’s employment continuation support office “Yakimono no Sato”, I was consulted by the president about a collaboration product with Accenture. That is the beginning.
The collaboration was over, and when I left the office, I decided to join the Kouraku kiln as a bridge. In my previous job, I was an “everything shop” that did everything from making fabrics to painting and main kilns (lol), so I was taken care of as an immediate force, focusing on making fabrics that were thin at the time.
Work in Kouraku kiln
I am making fabrics, but when I have a story about a new project, I work with a young designer by doing various experiments.
That’s why it’s very interesting to be able to experience a lot of things other than what I’ve experienced so far since I came to Kouraku Kiln.
For example, we are currently conducting various tests to respond to the proposal of whether we can make a baked product that utilizes the absorbency of diatomaceous earth, which is a material for plaster. It’s hard to start from where you don’t have any know-how, but even if you don’t get good results, you can use the experience you gain in the process next. I’m over 50 years old, but every day is a place to study and it’s very inspiring.
When I was doing it by myself, it was quite difficult to ask what I didn’t understand, but now it’s easier for people inside and outside the country to hear, “I’m doing this kind of thing in the Koraku kiln, but I have something I don’t understand.” You did.
Also, through initiatives such as treasure hunting and artist-in-residence, I have been able to interact with customers and foreign artists, and the opportunity to come into contact with their sensibilities has increased, which is extremely inspiring.
The artists who came from Singapore the other day made pottery dolls full of flowers, and I can’t think of it myself (laughs).
Until now, Arita was made up of cooking tableware, but the way of thinking about making things has changed due to the addition of external stimuli. The stereotypes have been taken away, and the old man who is about to end his life has come here and is receiving a lot of inspiration.
Future ceramic industry, future Arita
It has been said for several years that there is a huge shortage of human resources, but I think that Koraku kilns will attract young people to work with interest. I hope that the number of kilns that engage in such open efforts will increase, and that the flow will attract the attention of younger people throughout Arita.
For example, attracting tourists is not limited to Japanese people now. I can’t speak English at all, but I can still immunize. I think that might have been for Arita applying a voice and naturally “Hello” to do so.
In the past, I might have been told that I would do something new, and I might have been obsessed with it, but now I feel like “please do it.” We will follow you, so feel free to do whatever you want.