About Soryu-Gama

The first generation of Wakunami Soryu potters received direction from  the first generation Suwa-Sozan, known for the work he developed in seiji glazed pottery, characteristic of Kyoto pottery.

Ever since, for four generations by Wakunami family potters, the traditional craft of Kyoto Kiyomizu Pottery has been carefully carried on.

The present fourth generation Wakunami Soryu married Madoka Ota, born and raised in the old pottery village of Koishiwara, in Fukuoka prefecture.

Kyo-yaki Pottery and Koishiwara Pottery — At Soryu-gama, these two totally different styles mix and blend to nurture and present to the world, a new pottery.

Seeking a new expression with the translucent bluish seiji glaze, Soryu and Madoka work daily, side by side at their potters wheels.

Wakunami Soryu The first

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Born in Kanazawa in Ishikawa Prefecture in 1907 (Meiji 40)

Study basic pottery under the first Suwasozan

Manager of design instruction Department in Kyoto City School of Arts and Crafts

Study basic designing under the Chikuma Shoroku

Dedicate the 17 pieces of dishes to Ise Shrine

Dead in 1979 (Showa 54)

Wakunami Soryu The second

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Born in Kanazawa in 1942

Graduate Art and Crafts Department in Kyoto City of Hiyoshigaoka Senior Hingh School

Graduate Art and Crafts vocational school

Study basic pottery under the first Soryu

Study under received Order of Culture Kusubeyaichi

Wakunami Soryu The third

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Born in Katsuyama in Fukui Prefecture in 1951

Graduate Kyoto Women’s University

Succeeded his wife as the third Soryu

Inside Our Studio

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Soryu-Gama is located in the Higashiyama district in Kyoto. We are right along the Higashioji-dori street. Our studio and gallery entrance is on the south side of the building. You will see a awning shade.

Please stop by! If the entrance door happens to be closed, please ring us by the inter phone.

Inside Our Studio

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We perform all stages of pottery making in our studio, from throwing on the potter’s wheel to glazing and firing.

We are happy to describe to you the steps in making any of the pieces you will see in our gallery.

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Most of the tools we use in our studio for pottery throwing on the wheel are hand made from wood, as each pot has its own unique form, making this necessary.
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Our various glazes each require a different filter size for sifting, from a coarsely sifted formula to a finer one.
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“Posts” are part of kiln furniture.  They are called by names such as “to-fu”, “tsuku”, “senbei”, or “L-ji”.
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During the building process, we line up the pots on a board called a “san-ita”.  A skilled craftsman carries the board above his/her shoulder.  Careful not to lose balance…!
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(photo, right) An electric device which serves as a mortar and pestle. Pigments are crushed and mixed for as long as 24 hours!
(photo, left) The pot mill is used to scrupulously mix water with ingredients for glaze.
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Our pottery is glaze fired in a “reduction firing” where the amount of oxygen as fuel in the kiln is carefully controlled. After reaching 900℃, the reduction process begins.
The balance of the amount of gas to oxygen is adjusted as we watch the flames change in color and size. Finally the firing is finished at about 1250℃.