Nice piece ! I guess this is part of his recents trials with a porcelain/kaolin base instead of traditionnal Hagi stoneware. I think this is an artist who wants to know more remote areas of ceramic than the only tradition of Hagi, so this gives sometimes surprising items.
He had other tests with a type of Raku cooking if I remember correctly : http://www1.lixil.co.jp/gallery/ceramic ... 02197.html
I find Eiichi to be so gifted working in whatever manner he has chosen. I have seen much of it, and am always amazed. This piece I feel is more of an art work on a tea cup, whereas other pieces are tea cups made into art. The darkness of it, creating all negative space, contrasts so remarkably with the shirahagi and biwa glazes I have. I am not sure I will even use it. It may remain a piece I keep out just to look at.
On a side note, Eiichi signs these cups not with a stamp but using a point to write into the clay. I have other cups with this, but mostly I see his stamp. I wonder what decides this? The pattern I see is his traditional work has a stamp, less traditional a written signature.