Kazuya Ishida was born into a family of potters in Bizen Japan. Bizen is one of the six ‘ancient kilns’ and is famous for its traditional unglazed high temperature-fired bizen-style pottery. He uses wood-fired noborigama (multiple chamber climbing kiln) and anagama (single chamber climbing kiln).  

He trained with Jun Isezaki (a Living National Treasure in Bizen) for four years, followed by time spent in the UK learning different styles of pottery, before he established his own studio in Bizen. 

Invited into the Anagama Project run by University of Oxford, he has been a lead resident potter teaching kiln building, firing and pottery making, while lecturing about his craft.  He makes sculptures and vases featuring his distinctive spiralling marks, created with a technique inspired by a teenage love for breakdancing. 

In using limited materials (specifically, natural clay and natural ash glazes) in line with the Bizen tradition, he explores the rhythms and patterns of Nature.  The contemporary forms of his work are a reflection of the primordial, rippled textures and patterns of the ocean bed, tectonic shifts of a cliff face, and the marks that ebbing tides have left on rock pools, pebbles and seashells.


We met Kazuya at the end of a residency at the storied Sturt Gallery, in Mittagong. We loved his infectious enthusiasm and were awed by his talent and clay mastery. We are now excited to share more of his work in Australia.