After only one year of studying pottery in a studio outside of Kyoto, Taku Ohara knew he had to pursue a career in ceramics. In 2003, he set out and searched numerous areas in hopes of finding a strong ceramic artistic community to work within. He was immediately drawn to Echizen for its deep- rooted traditions and robust wood-firing community. Ohara relocated there and enrolled in pottery classes at the Fukui Industrial Technology Center. There, he studied the traditional techniques of wheel throwing and the facets of creating a production line.
Ohara currently works from his home studio where he concentrates on producing utilitarian ware influenced by traditional Echizen-yaki. Ohara chooses his clay based on the object’s ultimate intended use. He explains, “I choose to use clay with larger rocks and minerals in it to create rough surfaces, accentuating the surface of my vases. But I choose smoother clay found in Echizen for objects used for drinking or eating.” Seeing Ohara’s production line juxtaposed with his larger textured vases, it is easy to see the effects the clay body has on the final fired surface of his pots. The work with larger rocks has a deep, rough texture ingrained on the surface with flashes of color from the deposits of ash accumulated during the firing process. His smoother functional work has lighter variations of color.
Due to the high overhead cost of building and firing an anagama, Ohara utilizes the town kiln, as many of the other younger potters do. However, he plans to build his own anagama in the future. Ohara does have his own electric and gas kilns, which he uses as well. Having these additional kilns allows him to fire more frequently and gives him more color variations with the use of oxidation and reduction glazes.