Shiho Kanzaki was revered by his loyal, worldwide following. His faith and passion for Azuchi-Momoyama Period Shigaraki and Iga pottery spurred him on to create many stunning works; indeed, it has been said that his pots are like jewels thrown down from the heavens. Shiho Kanzaki passed away in the spring of 2018.
Kanzaki fired his pieces in an anagama kiln in Shigaraki for up to 15 days. Pots were placed into the kiln unglazed and came out with a natural ash glaze (shizen-yu). The slow build-up of ash creates serendipitous patterns on the surface. Other than large tsubo (large storage jors), his work consisted mainly of tea ceremony utensils. These were purchased by the kiln-load by global collectors for millions of dollars. Kanzaki was featured on the covers of Ceramics Art, Perception, Ceramics Monthly and other publications.
Kanzaki continually blazed new trails in the ceramic art world with his insights into anagama-fired Shigaraki and Iga pottery. Potters from all over the world traveled to fire with him and learn his techniques, including a number of artists represented by The Island Gallery. The Gallery owners also took the journey to visit with him at his studio and gallery in Shigaraki, where he hosted them in his tea ceremony.