Ceramic Artist Profile

Tamaya Kōsei

ceramic artist Tamaya Kosei's name in Japanese

In the 14th century, shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu promoted the growth of tea around Kyoto's Uji district, and this began a long and deep tea culture that is still thriving today.  Local artisans, well attuned to the aesthetics of tea, produce utensils of the highest quality, including tea bowls, whisks, and cast iron wares.  As well, "Uji tea" has become the appellation for superior matcha - the powdered type used for tea ceremony.

Hailing from this region so steeped in tea is ceramic artist Tamaya Kōsei.  Since establishing his kiln in 1998, he has devoted himself to the production of pottery and porcelain tea wares and works almost exclusively in copper-based glazes.

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Tamaya Kōsei


Born in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan


Graduates from the Kyoto Municipal Institute of Ceramics.


Begins life as a ceramic artist.

1983 to

Instructor, Nara Rissho Art Institute, Department of Ceramics

1998 to

After building a kiln and studio in the Kasatori area of Uji City (Kyoto Prefecture), exhibits at the Osaka Takashimaya Dept. Store Gallery, Kyoto Maruzen Gallery, Kanazawa Meitetsu Dept. Store Gallery, and galleries in Bangkok, Thailand

Presently serves as Adjunct Professor of Ceramic Art, Royal Chulalongkorn University, Faculty of Fine & Applied Arts, Department of Creative & Applied Arts, Bangkok, Thailand

Presently serves as Adjunct Instructor of Ceramic Art, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA


Rather than working in any established genre or centuries-old technique, Tamaya prefers to develop his own glazes, systematically changing their components and logging the results until he designs one that he can truly call his own.

Some of his signature glazes display spectral yōhen (kiln changes) effects which, the artist says, are inspired by the wings of a scarab beetle - from morning to midday to evening.  Others come from the kiln imbued with the deep reds of Japan's famous momiji maple leaves.

Potter's Insignia

Tamaya Kōsei's works are signed or stamped on the footring with the kanji characters "Tamaya" - the artist's surname.  His full name is written on the wooden presentation box.