About artist — Kiyooka

about kodo kiyooka

Kodo Kiyooka has become known in some artisan circles as the “frying pan guy.” It’s not what he set out to become and initially, he was reluctant. But now, he has come to embrace the nickname. Of course, frying pans are far from the only thing that Kiyooka excels at. 

When he began his journey to make pottery, Kiyooka strove to produce works that were sharp, sensitive and edgy — vessels that gave the impression of iron flowing out of clay. His inspiration was to make art that could be used everyday. To do this, he focuses on Sabiyuh (brown or rust colored glaze), a straw ash glaze that brings out the iron in the clay — as well as Aohai (blue ash), which uses a mixture of the Isunoki plant’s ash and various minerals. His pieces look like they are heavyweight, but are surprisingly light, achieving a beautiful marriage of masculinity and sensitivity.

After graduating from Osaka University of the Arts, he was selected to be an artist in residence at at the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park in Japan’s Shiga Prefecture. The facility has no curriculum, so artists are free to explore the range of their talents and craft. Since leaving there, he has been working as an independent artisan, participating in solo and group shows throughout Japan.

So, how did he come to be know as the “frying pan guy?” What was to become his signature line of heat resistant vessels actually came about  quite by accident. Coming home after a long day of work, Kiyooka wanted to make something simple in one dish so he wouldn’t have much to clean up after eating. His solution: a heat resistant frying pan he had created as an artistic piece. That simple idea transformed a piece of art into a useful, everyday item. It caught on when he showed the work to a gallery owner from Tokyo. They loved the pieces and the idea behind them, and asked him to display.

The rest is history. While this was not Kiyooka’s original inspiration of fucus, it worked. At the time, he hadn’t been having much success showing his art. This was an unexpected break, but it was what he needed. Even so, he wasn’t sure he was comfortable with the idea, but the more he has shown, he has embraced the title, Kiyooka, the frying pan guy. And it has allowed him to showcase the depth and breadth of all his work. We are proud to offer examples here.

To learn more about Kiyooka's collection, please contact
Products are available for purchase here

 

Products

All the products showcased here are Kiyooka's handmade, one-of-a-kind creations. Reordered pieces may differ slightly from the photo shown. Back order will take up to 1-to-2 months.

 

Shiga, Japan

Shiga, Japan

Aohai by Kodo Kiyooka

Aohai by Kodo Kiyooka