Bellflower-shaped, white porcelain plate and dish designed by OJI Masanori. The shapes and patterns are based on the old ARITA traditions but refined by the designer to fit the modern life style.
The founder of the JICON brand, IMAMURA Hajime, later in 2014 became independent as IMAMURA Porcelain.
IMAMURA Porcelain makes porcelains for daily life with their traditional white porcelain techniques using Amakusa Touseki (porcelain stone).
The Touetsugama kiln originated in Mikawachi of Sasebo City in Nagasaki prefecture as a house kiln under the patronage of the Hirado clan. The kiln was redeployed to Arita in Saga prefecture by IMAMURA Shikao XII for its expansion and is currently succeeded by IMAMURA Kenichi XIV.
In ecological point of view, these "lesser" materials should not be wasted but should be given a new life, thought Mr. IMAMURA of JICON together with the designer, OJI Masanori. JICON sourced materials from multiple locations and tried to come up with the best blend to match their ideals. This was a time-consuming, tough project as such materials are often with less workability, and in order to overcome the difficulty, they also needed to formulate the best conditions to kiln their works with unusual blends of porcelain stones. In the end, they found that their works should be kilned at a much higher temperature than in the conventional method. And, it also required a special blend of glazes which makes it possible to attain the ideal look and texture they envisioned.
The results are JICON's unique, off-white porcelain wares with matte texture. The products are tougher, heavier, and harder. Although they sometimes indicate the traces of pigments on the surface, which actually are oxidized iron particles in the porcelain stones. JICON thinks the traces of pigments or colored tones are not something to be avoided but rather cherished.