Minami Samejima, based in Gifu, Japan, uses a unique process to fire her pottery, sinking the objects in the ash of rice husks which creates a natural dark charcoal tone along with a glaze to seal each piece. During this process the pieces are layered into a box called a ‘saya’, which is packed with leftover rice husks (chaff) collected from her parent’s rice farm. The surface of each object has many tiny air holes, so it will change over time. The teapots (pictured) will absorb the colour and scent of the tea that you use, while Minami’s bowls will gain strength from absorbing the natural oils from food. The natural and sustainable technique she uses is both personal and unique. Minami’s work is available in New Zealand from Astute Assembly astuteassembly.com

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