My Kutani Painting Teacher’s Painting Stuio

Hi there! Loooooooooooong time no see! Every time I post a new blog entry, I recently feel like I say “Hi there! Long time no see!” Two weeks ago, I returned to Japan from my last studying abroad in America for this year!

Today I’d love to write about my Kutani painting teacher and his painting studio! I’m sure that many Western people and many Asian people who are interested in Japan and Japanese culture like this blog entry!

I’ve been learning two different styles of Japanese pottery painting in Japan: one is an Imari style and the other is Kunani style.  Since I’ve been showing my Imari work on my another blog: http://sommerstein0411.wordpress.com/, you can see a bunch of pictures of my work there. On the other hand, I haven’t posted anything about Kutani yet, you might not have any idea of it. Here is the link of Kutani painting: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kutani_ware . The pottery style also has a long history, but Imari was born first in Kyoshu area and people in Kutani studied in Imari and they started their original style in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa prefecture, and it is called Kutani ceramic. I like both of them.

I moved to the area where I current live three years ago because of my husband’s business and started learning how to paint with the Kutani style one years ago. So, I met my Kutani painting teacher one years ago. When I started learning, there were three students, but two of them quit and I’m the only student for him. First, he had been teaching at another place, but after his two students quit, he also quit teaching at the place. He asked me if I would come to his painting studio and learn Kutani painting much more seriously at our last class. I’ve been learning Kutani panting at his painting studo for a few months. He is a very crafted person and very strict to his work. Of course, he is also very strict to me, lol. I’ve been struggling with my work at his painting studio because he is always so serious when he teaches me. However, he and I are really good friends and I love listening to his opinions about Japanese traditional art, Buddhism (he is a fervent Buddhist and tries to see everything as a Buddhist.) and so on. Since I think our traditional art relates to our religion, learning it is very good for me.

Last week, I went to his house to take my Kutani lesson and I took a lot of pictures. Since he allowed me to post them and introduce them on my blog, I’d love to share them with you here.

My Kutani teacher's house

My Kutani teacher’s house

He lives in the house with his wife. Her wife is also a Kutani painter and she is also very nice. I love both of them. They have two children, but neither of them are painters, so they are really looking forward me to becoming a good Kutani painter.

My Kutani teacher's house

My Kutani teacher’s house

Their house is a typical Japanese style in the Hokuriku legion.

My Kutani teacher's house

My Kutani teacher’s house

This building is his painting studio!

His kilns

His kilns

His kilns are huge and I think I can be fired with them. His ancestor has been Kutani painters and he received the kilns from his father.

Entrance of his painting stuio

Entrance of his painting studio

Downstairs of his painting studio

Downstairs of his painting studio

Downstairs of his painting studio

Downstairs of his painting studio

Look at the white big vase! I’d really love to paint on the vase with a Kutani style some day!

Downstairs of his painting studio

Downstairs of his painting studio

Upstairs of his painting studio

Upstairs of his painting studio

Upstairs of his painting studio

Upstairs of his painting studio

Upstairs of his painting studio

Upstairs of his painting studio

You can see a pallet and a painting spatula on the picture. That is very typical Japanese painting style! I’m not used to the spatula even though I’m Japanese, and it’s really hard for me to use it. I’m thinking that I’d love to give the spatulas to my painting teachers and my friends in America. Sharing our culture would be so much fun!

My Pallete and Spatula with my Japanese brush

My Pallet and Spatula with my Japanese brush

Japanese colors are completely different from fired colors. So, it’s hard for us to imagine what colors we are using. I’m painting with a green color. You can see the color on the top of my spatula.

Upstairs of my painting teacher's painting studio

Upstairs of my painting teacher’s painting studio

It’s very traditional! Kutani painters have been keeping their pallets like that. They don’t wash their pallets. Most of colors are dried and when we use them, we need to add some water, “funori”, some Japanese green tea or some specific materials for Kutani paints to mix.

Upstairs of my painting teacher's painting studio

Upstairs of my painting teacher’s painting studio

My teacher's painting desk

My teacher’s painting desk

My desk

My desk

I’ve been painting next to him. I always feel that he is watching me while painting, lol. He has been teaching how to use Japanese brushes, how to draw very thin and sharp lines, how to put colors in a correct way and everything that he can teach me. I really appreciate to him! He is my greatest Japanese painting teacher ever!

My first piece of Kutani

My first piece of Kutani

My first piece! I’ll show the finished piece next time on my another blog! Can’t wait!!!

One of my teacher's work

One of my teacher’s work

My teacher is an excellent Kutani painter. This is one of his work!

My Kutani teacher

My Kutani teacher

My Kutani teacher

My Kutani teacher

My British friend and Kutani teacher

My British friend and Kutani teacher

I love this picture. I have a good British friend in England and he visited us last year. I took him to my painting class and he also took the class with me. He tried to paint and really enjoyed it. I think he had a great time with my teacher!

My British friend with a Japanese brush

My British friend with a Japanese brush

My teacher

My teacher

My teacher likes me taking my international friends to his painting studio and teaching Kutani style to my friends. Of course, he can’t speak English at all. so I have to become their interpreter, though. He also has expected me to expand and introduce Kutani painting all over the world in English!

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28 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. evelyne
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 09:48:14

    Good morning
    I like what do you do but how you buy your creation, I am teacher and I like painture one porcelaine I am french and I am a small difficult for speak english

    Reply

    • yumi
      Jul 09, 2012 @ 11:05:00

      Hi, Evelyne. Nice to meet you! You can write what you want to say in French. I don’t understand any French at all, but I can use the Google translator and understand you. Do you want to get some Japanese materials? Or do you want to get my work? Or what do you want to get?

      Reply

  2. djloopacabra
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 10:30:40

    Wow! I really like your teacher’s house. I’ve decided that I want to buy a house just like that in Japan. I also really like his Kutani plate. He is a great artist.

    It is so cool to see where you go to learn the Kutani style. It looks like a great place to focus on painting. It think you must also teach what he has taught you to other artists in the future. Old styles and traditions can be forgotten in time, forever, if people don’t pass their knowledge to others.

    Reply

    • yumi
      Jul 09, 2012 @ 11:09:45

      Hi, Matt. Thanks for the comment! I know you love his house! You also like my house because my house has “ranma” and it’s really neat! It’s my first time to live the house which has “ranma”. I have to take some pics of my house and should show them.

      My teacher is really professional and I can learn a lot of things from him. I need more crafted and professional spirit like him! I think he believes in Buddhism and it’s really working out for him to keep such the strong spirit to create. Talking to him is always so much fun!

      When you come to my place, I definetely will take you to his house. You also can enjoy talking to him, painting with him and learning a part of Japanese culture like Martyn! I can’t wait!

      Reply

  3. dotdos
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 13:12:08

    It’s really fascinating. A beautiful story, with excellent photos. Very interesting this art that you are showing us. Thank you.

    Reply

    • yumi
      Jul 09, 2012 @ 13:26:45

      Hi, dotdos. Thanks for the comment! I’m happy you like the blog entry. I’m thinking that I’d love to share real Japanese Sushi restaurant pics with you on my blog because every time I go to America, I’m so surprised at American Japanese sushi! I feel guilty to have to show real Japanese ones to Western people!

      Reply

    • yumi
      Jul 09, 2012 @ 23:20:01

      I’m really curious about Japanese sushi restaurant in Spain! I’d love to see them on your blog!!!! Anyway, I’ll nominate you as my first Versatile Blogger Award! I’ll write down about details on my next blog entry. You will become one of my nominators! Congratulations!!!

      Reply

  4. René Astudillo
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 14:29:07

    Profesor Yumi es Hermoso todo lo que usted produce como no quisiera estar junto a ti para aprender más cosas sorprendentes que las he visto. Siempre ustedes nos han sorprendido al Mundo entero en sus técnicas de Arte sobre Pintura. Éxitos René Astudillo
    asturene@gmail.com
    asturene@yahoo.com

    Reply

    • yumi
      Jul 09, 2012 @ 15:14:42

      Hola, René. Gracias por visitar mi blog y gracias por el comentario. Estoy feliz de que haya disfrutado de mi blog y antry encanta obra de mi maestro. Me encantaría ser un buen pintor Kutani para él y compartir este tradicional paintig beautirul con todo el mundo!

      Reply

  5. huilya ayangil
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 14:45:26

    Hi from Istanbul Turkey ! Thank you veru much for sharing all this beautiful information and photos!

    Reply

  6. Carolyn Purnell
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 15:47:48

    Yumi…thanks so very much for sharing this….I love learning more about your culture and especially all the painting techniques. I am going to research Kutani painting because I don’t know too much about it. Thanks…from Carolyn Purnell, your friend from Tybee Seminars

    Reply

    • yumi
      Jul 09, 2012 @ 16:00:26

      Hi, Carolyn! I’m so glad that you visited my blog! I’m happy to hear that you love learning my culture! Our culture is very rich and different from yours. We modern Japanese people, especially young people aren’t interested in such traditional culture. It’s really sad. I’d love to keep our culture, especially this Kutani painting, and would love to share the techniques with people in the world! My teacher has been worried about the Kutani’s future because he has been loosing a lot of students in past days, but I’d love to make him feel at ease.

      Reply

      • deanmu
        Jul 10, 2012 @ 05:11:13

        nice share… I am so interested with this kind of painting. Does kutani painting same as batik in my traditional culture? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batik but we painted it on the sarong or cloth with various pattern like flowers animal and people

      • yumi
        Jul 10, 2012 @ 11:44:46

        I like batik print! It’s really cool! Kutani is a kind of porcelain painting and not painting on fabrics. However, both our paintings have traditions and history, so in the way I think they are similar. Thanks for the comment!

  7. Alicia M. Rikert de Trabal
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 18:34:25

    Realmente fascinante, felicitaciones por tan hermoso lugar, piezas,maestros. Gracias por compartir este hermoso Blog y toda vuestra enseñanza. Bendiciones!!!!

    Reply

    • yumi
      Jul 09, 2012 @ 22:20:11

      Gracias por el comentario! Le diré lo que le dije a mi maestro. Estoy seguro de que le encanta escucharlo. Estoy tan feliz de conocer a un maestro de la pintura Kutani y puede tomar sus clases cada vez que quiero!

      Reply

  8. akiko
    Jul 10, 2012 @ 05:44:43

    Yumi, What a nice teacher you have!I’m also interested in Japanese painting like Kutani. If possible I’d like to go there with you when I return to Japan this fall.

    Reply

    • yumi
      Jul 10, 2012 @ 11:47:48

      Hi, Akiko-san. Thanks for the comment! I hope we can go there to meet my painting teacher. He is very busy for his business and it’s a bit hard for me to catch him and take lessons. However, we at least can go to Kanazawa City and enjoy looking around the city! I can’t wait!!!

      Reply

  9. Edna Kannan
    Jul 15, 2012 @ 15:42:41

    Que bello!!!

    Reply

  10. Nancy Lepak
    Jul 16, 2012 @ 03:01:17

    Loved your blog! Very informative

    Reply

  11. BOND MALIKAEW
    Jul 17, 2012 @ 18:06:12

    good job for this! very impressive..

    Reply

  12. Charlotte Lee
    Jul 21, 2012 @ 11:53:22

    It’s wondering to know another painting technique. For some reason, there is no further elaboration for the Kutani teacher, i.e. his name.

    Reply

    • yumi
      Jul 23, 2012 @ 09:46:49

      Hi, Charlotte. Thanks for the comment. I can’t write down his name here in public and I’d love to keep his privacy, but if you want to know his name, I will send you a message on your Facebook or e-mail to you and tell you his name. You can get more personal information about him.

      Reply

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