Ceramics is one of the oldest art forms in the world. Since prehistoric times, mankind has used clay to create utensils, decorative objects and works of art. The Kurinuki technique is one of the most unique and recognized ceramic techniques used in Japan. Through this technique, artisans can create unique and fascinating pieces of great beauty and simplicity. You will learn about a magical sample of Japanese ceramics, its history, characteristics and more. Join us!



It is a Japanese ceramic technique that involves carving the desired shape into a piece of clay. The name kurinuki can be literally translated as “to hollow”.

A single lump of clay is used which is carved with the appropriate tools to achieve the desired shape. Instead of creating a work from individual pieces of clay, as is done in some other techniques, the piece is carved from a single block of clay. The result is frankly beautiful.

Tazón kurinuki chawan

Tea bowl made with the Kurinuki technique. Made by
Sarah Maelle Ceramique.



The Kurinuki technique begins with the selection of the right block of clay. The artisan must ensure that the clay is soft and moist enough to carve easily, but not too wet to prevent cracking during carving.

Once the clay is selected, it is cut into the desired basic shape and carved using different tools, such as clay knives, needles and spatulas. As the piece takes shape, small amounts of clay are removed to achieve the desired design.

Artisans use this technique to create organic shapes and unique textures on the surface of the bowl. The Kurinuki process involves sculpting the clay from the inside of the bowl to the outside, rather than shaping the form from the outside to the inside, as is done in other ceramic techniques.

Finally, the part can be smoothed and polished to obtain a smooth and uniform finish.

Ceramic bowl kurinuki


Artist: Ewe Suchanek

Japanese kurinuki technich bowl


Artist: Chanoyu Ceramics

Kurinuki Raku Chawan


Artist: Clarochelle Ceramiste



The Kurinuki technique dates back to medieval Japanese times, where it was used to make ceramic objects for the tea ceremony. During the Edo period (1603-1868), the technique was extended to the production of other everyday objects, such as bowls and plates. Despite the popularity of the technique, most objects produced with Kurinuki were made for personal use and were not widely marketed.

Due to the special nature of this technique, each resulting piece is unique and no two pieces can be made alike. This uniqueness has led many artisans to embrace the Kurinuki technique as an art form to express themselves with unrepeatable creations.

One of the most popular applications of this technique is in the creation of Yunomi bowls, which are used in the Japanese tea ceremony.

These ceramic bowls have a cylindrical shape and are sometimes wider at the base than at the mouth. They are used for drinking tea and are held with both hands while drinking. Because of their ceremonial use, these pieces are of great cultural importance in Japan.

Another type of bowls that are made with Kurinuki are the Chawan, these are less cylindrical and wider.

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