Kodo Kiyooka Introduction

Kodo Kiyooka Introduction

Showcasing traditional Japanese crafts and the artisans who create them — their stories and their art in words and visions.

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.

Aohai Flat Bowl

Aohai Flat Bowl

To learn more about Kiyooka's collection, please contact Japan Suite. 
Products are available here. 

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.

Rinka Medium Plate

Rinka Medium Plate

Aohai Flat Bowl

Aohai Flat Bowl

7.5”D  1.75”H 14oz  $68 Available for purchase here

Beautiful landscape of Aohai glaze.

*Aohai is literally blue ash, using a mixture of the Isunoki plant’s ash and minerals. Isunoki is a common ingredient in Shigaraki region. Kiyooka’s original blend produces beautiful pale blue.

青灰釉の美しいボウル。スープの多いお惣菜にも。  

*青灰の主原料は 柞(いすのき)の灰と長石、それに鉱石を微量に加えたもの。柞は信楽ではとてもポピュラーで、オリジナルの調合によりやや青みがかる発色が美しい。

KK04

HEAT RESISTANT Dinner Plate

HEAT RESISTANT Dinner Plate

9.25”D (23.5cm)   $122 

PURCHASE >

This product can safely be heated on the stove top or in the oven. 

*Sabiyuh (brown or rust colored glaze), a straw ash glaze that brings out the iron in the clay: This glaze appeared around Kamakura era as matte accent and became more common in Muromachi era, and eventually evolved into many different kinds of glaze. Sabiyuh typically changes to be glossier after years of use. Enjoy the changing landscape!

オーブンや直火で使用できるやきもの。外側はぱりっと内側はしっとり、のできあがりが期待できます。

*錆釉は鉄釉の一種で鎌倉時代に艶のあるやきもののアクセントとして登場、室町時代には錆釉が単独で施され、その後釉薬の中に含まれる鉄の量を変え色々なスタイルに変化していきます。

Product and purchase information, contact Japan Suite.
KK10

Sabiyuh Rim bowl (small)

Sabiyuh Rim bowl (small)

5.5" D (14cm) 2.25"H (5.5cm)  $53.00 

PURCHASE >

*Sabiyuh (brown or rust colored glaze), a straw ash glaze that brings out the iron in the clay: This glaze appeared around Kamakura era as matte accent and became more common in Muromachi era, and eventually evolved into many different kinds of glaze. Sabiyuh typically changes to be glossier after years of use. Enjoy the changing landscape!

錆釉のかかっていない内側にも茶から緑に移っていく美しい釉薬がみられます。口当たりのいい薄いリムが特徴です。

*錆釉は鉄釉の一種で鎌倉時代に艶のあるやきもののアクセントとして登場、室町時代には錆釉が単独で施され、その後釉薬の中に含まれる鉄の量を変え色々なスタイルに変化していきます。冷却還元という窯の炊き方により焼成中、炭素の影響で生地が黒っぽくなり、釉薬も錆たような表面効果をもたらします。

Product and purchase information, contact Japan Suite.
KK11

SABIYUH TEA POT

SABIYUH TEA POT

6.5"W (16.5cm) 4"D(10cm) 4.5"H (11.5cm) $203.00 

PURCHASE >

*Sabiyuh (brown or rust colored glaze) is a straw ash glaze that brings out the iron in the clay. This glaze appeared around Kamakura era (1192-1333) as a matte accent and became more common in Muromachi era, which followed.  It eventually evolved into many different kinds of glaze. Sabiyuh typically becomes glossier after years of use. Enjoy the changing character!

使い始めに感じるマットなテクスチャーは使っていくうちにすべすべとして、より手触りがよくなってきます。

*錆釉は鉄釉の一種で鎌倉時代に艶のあるやきもののアクセントとして登場、室町時代には錆釉が単独で施され、その後釉薬の中に含まれる鉄の量を変え色々なスタイルに変化していきます。冷却還元という窯の炊き方により焼成中、炭素の影響で生地が黒っぽくなり、釉薬も錆たような表面効果をもたらします。

Product and purchase information, contact Japan Suite.

Aohai Flat Bowl

Aohai Flat Bowl

7.5”D (19cm) 1.75”H (4.5cm) 14oz  $68 

PURCHASE >

Beautiful landscape of Aohai glaze.

*Aohai is literally blue ash, using a mixture of the Isunoki plant’s ash and minerals. Isunoki is a common ingredient in Shigaraki region. Kiyooka’s original blend produces beautiful pale blue.

青灰釉の美しいボウル。スープの多いお惣菜にも。  

*青灰の主原料は 柞(いすのき)の灰と長石、それに鉱石を微量に加えたもの。柞は信楽ではとてもポピュラーで、オリジナルの調合によりやや青みがかる発色が美しい。

KK04

Olive Cafe Bowl

Olive Cafe Bowl

4.5”D (11.4cm) 3”H(7.6cm) 8oz  $64 

PURCHASE >

Olive green luster on the outside and matte off white inside make a beautiful contrast. Great for cafe au lait and soups.
*Olive is a variation of the Aohai series that uses a mixture of ash from the Isunoki plant and minerals. Isunoki is a common ingredient in Shigaraki region. In order to produce glossy olive green, Kiyooka fires at higher temperature than Aohai.

つややかなオリーブ色とマットな質感が美しいコントラストをつくります。生地や釉薬に入っている鉄分が現れるピンホールも使っていくうちにいい景色になってきます。カフェオレやスープ、小鉢にどうぞ。

*オリーブはイスノキを主な原料にした青灰シリーズの融点を上げて作られました。

KK05

 

Sabiyuh Soup Mug

Sabiyuh Soup Mug

3.5”D (8.9cm) 2.25”H (5.7cm) 7oz  $60 

PURCHASE >

This mug’s extremely thin rim feels nice to drink from. Sabiyuh typically becomes smoother after years of use. Enjoy the changing character!

*Sabiyuh (brown or rust colored glaze) is a straw ash glaze that brings out the iron in the clay. This glaze appeared around Kamakura era (1192-1333) as a matte accent and became more common in Muromachi era, which followed.  It eventually evolved into many different kinds of glaze.

使い始めに感じる錆釉独特のマットなテクスチャーは使っていくうちにすべすべとしてきます。非常に薄いふちは口当たりがとても良く、長く愛用していただきたいものです。

*錆釉は鉄釉の一種で鎌倉時代に艶のあるやきもののアクセントとして登場、室町時代には錆釉が単独で施され、その後釉薬の中に含まれる鉄の量を変え色々なスタイルに変化していきます。冷却還元という窯の炊き方により焼成中、炭素の影響で生地が黒っぽくなり、釉薬も錆たような表面効果をもたらします。

Available for purchase here.
KK01  
 

Sabiyuh Kakewake Kakute Mug

Sabiyuh Kakewake Kakute Mug

3.5” (8.9cm) 2.75”H (7cm) 7oz  $64 

PURCHASE >

This mug is finished smooth inside with a matte Sabiyuh glaze on the outside. It’s square handle fits very nicely in your hand, and the Kiyooka’s thin rim is designed to feel great when you drink from it.

錆釉を施した外側とすべすべした質感の内側のコントラストが美しいマグ。四角いハンドルはとても持ちやすく、口当たりのいい薄いリムが特徴です。
*錆釉は鉄釉の一種で鎌倉時代に艶のあるやきもののアクセントとして登場、室町時代には錆釉が単独で施され、その後釉薬の中に含まれる鉄の量を変え色々なスタイルに変化していきます。冷却還元という窯の炊き方により焼成中、炭素の影響で生地が黒っぽくなり、釉薬も錆たような表面効果をもたらします。
KK03
 

Aohai Flat Bowl

Aohai Flat Bowl

7.5”D  1.75”H 14oz  $68 Available for purchase here

Beautiful landscape of Aohai glaze.

*Aohai is literally blue ash, using a mixture of the Isunoki plant’s ash and minerals. Isunoki is a common ingredient in Shigaraki region. Kiyooka’s original blend produces beautiful pale blue.

青灰釉の美しいボウル。スープの多いお惣菜にも。  

*青灰の主原料は 柞(いすのき)の灰と長石、それに鉱石を微量に加えたもの。柞は信楽ではとてもポピュラーで、オリジナルの調合によりやや青みがかる発色が美しい。

KK04

 

Sabiyuh Coffee Pot

Sabiyuh Coffee Pot

6.75”W(w handle)  4.5”H 1lb1oz  $210 

PURCHASE >

*Sabiyuh (brown or rust colored glaze) is a straw ash glaze that brings out the iron in the clay. This glaze appeared around Kamakura era (1192-1333) as a matte accent and became more common in Muromachi era, which followed.  It eventually evolved into many different kinds of glaze. Sabiyuh typically becomes glossier after years of use. Enjoy the changing character!

使い始めに感じるマットなテクスチャーは使っていくうちにすべすべとして、より手触りがよくなってきます。

*錆釉は鉄釉の一種で鎌倉時代に艶のあるやきもののアクセントとして登場、室町時代には錆釉が単独で施され、その後釉薬の中に含まれる鉄の量を変え色々なスタイルに変化していきます。冷却還元という窯の炊き方により焼成中、炭素の影響で生地が黒っぽくなり、釉薬も錆たような表面効果をもたらします。

Product and purchase information, contact Japan Suite.
KK02

 

Heat Resistant Frying Pan (small)

Heat Resistant Frying Pan (small)

5.4”D (13.7cm) 1.4”H (3.5cm) 9”(w handle) 13.5oz   $75 

PURCHASE >

Also available in Medium and Large for back order. 
Medium  $95   Ø 6.3" H 1.5" (160×H38mm) including handle 10.5" (265mm)
Large  $122   Ø 7.9" H 1.2" (200×H30mm) including handle 11" (280mm)

This product can safely be heated on the stove top or in the oven. There are two larger sizes available upon request. Food bakes up crispy outside and moist inside.Then you can bring it straight to the table!

*Sabiyuh (brown or rust colored glaze), a straw ash glaze that brings out the iron in the clay: This glaze appeared around Kamakura era as matte accent and became more common in Muromachi era, and eventually evolved into many different kinds of glaze. Sabiyuh typically changes to be glossier after years of use. Enjoy the changing landscape!

オーブンや直火で使用できるやきもの。外側はぱりっと内側はしっとり、のできあがりが期待できます。その他にも2種類の大きさがあります。

*錆釉は鉄釉の一種で鎌倉時代に艶のあるやきもののアクセントとして登場、室町時代には錆釉が単独で施され、その後釉薬の中に含まれる鉄の量を変え色々なスタイルに変化していきます。

Product and purchase information, contact Japan Suite.
KK07
 

Heat Resistant Frying Pan (small)

Heat Resistant Frying Pan (small)

5.4”D (13.7cm) 1.4”H (3.5cm) 9”(w handle) 13.5oz  $75 

PURCHASE >

Also available in Medium and Large for back order. 
Medium  $95   Ø 6.3" H 1.5" (160×H38mm) including handle 10.5" (265mm)
Large  $122   Ø 7.9" H 1.2" (200×H30mm) including handle 11" (280mm)

Sabiyuh Kakewake bowl

Sabiyuh Kakewake bowl

5.5”D (14cm) 2.25”H (5.7cm) 7.5oz  $64

PURCHASE >

The beautiful brown to green glaze inside this bowl provides a really nice contrast with the rich Sabiyuh glaze on the outside.

*Sabiyuh (brown or rust colored glaze), a straw ash glaze that brings out the iron in the clay: This glaze appeared around Kamakura era as matte accent and became more common in Muromachi era, and eventually evolved into many different kinds of glaze. Sabiyuh typically changes to be glossier after years of use. Enjoy the changing landscape!

錆釉のかかっていない内側にも茶から緑に移っていく美しい釉薬がみられます。口当たりのいい薄いリムが特徴です。

*錆釉は鉄釉の一種で鎌倉時代に艶のあるやきもののアクセントとして登場、室町時代には錆釉が単独で施され、その後釉薬の中に含まれる鉄の量を変え色々なスタイルに変化していきます。冷却還元という窯の炊き方により焼成中、炭素の影響で生地が黒っぽくなり、釉薬も錆たような表面効果をもたらします。

Product and purchase information, contact Japan Suite.
KK06