Vol.9. Hiroy Hanaoka

Vol.9. Hiroy Hanaoka

Bizen is one of the most famous pottery town in Japan, mainly for woodfiring Yakishime technique. There in a pottery town, Hiroy is blowing glass instead.

We visited him during the pottery festival in Bizen, Okayama. Hiroy tome us that he went to the university thinking to become a potter, but in a freshman year, he had a chance to do all different kind of crafts including glass blowing. He immediately fell in love and decided to go this way. After graduation, he worked for a glass studio in Osaka for 9 years before opening his own studio in Bizen.

He was so kind he explained different method of blowing and making pieces. One of his signature piece is color lined. He said he put color powder on the top of melting glass, and then shave some parts off. As he blow it to inflate, the line appears. He demonstrated other piece as well and he made it so easy to make, but I’m sure it is really hard to do what he does. The piece was so beautiful.

He shared difficulties as a glass artist too. As a glass artist he needs to keep the kiln on for 24/7, he uses gas kiln. The rising energy cost during 2022 was a hard period for glass artists he said. He hope that to be gone soon, but at the same time he tries to make pieces that people appreciate even if it has higher price tag.

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