Shikamaru Takeshita at Savoir Vivre Gallery, Tokyo

Only a few days remaining to visit a solo exhibition by Mashiko ceramic artist Shikamaru Takeshita (10/19-10/27) at Savior Vivre Gallery in Roppongi, Tokyo.  Shikamaru-san is one of the artists I met through the Mashiko Volunteer Center back in May, and I’ve visited him twice since then to help out with the rebuilding of his kiln and interview him for the panel I’ll be on titled “Life on the Edge – Mashiko Rebuilds” at the 2012 National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) conference in Seattle, along with fellow artists / educators Ayumi Horie, John Baymore, and Lynn Zetzman.

When I last saw Shikamaru-san in September he was busily working at a friend’s studio – due to a shortage of time and various delays, the rebuilding of his anagama was not to be completed on schedule for this, his first solo exhibition since the earthquake disaster.  Despite the potential disappointment of such a setback, Shikamaru-san was energetic and excited about making work in clay again, and the exhibition is a rare show of glazed and gas-fired work.

For more information (in Japanese)


Seiko Wakasugi

On the trip to see the Mino exhibition with Kanazawa College of Art, we stopped in at the Sakazuki (Sake Cup) Museum and gallery.  Seiko Wakasugi is a previous prize-winner at Mino, and I have enjoyed her work since first encountering it on the Utsuwa Note blog.  Her delicate and beautiful forms reference geometry and nature, and are slip-cast in a translucent bone-china porcelain, which she then gently hand finishes – softening the lips and carving the feet – before firing unglazed to vitrification.  In her bio on Bottega Veneta, she likens their sinewy and sensual curves to the crisp lines of Nihonga (Japanese painting)

A small sake cup, like the one in the image below, came home with me.

image via:

image via:

Seigo Kaneyuki

While in the Tajimi area, dropping off my work to the 9th International Mino exhibition, we dropped by the very lovely Torin Shunyou gallery (  Will have to add some images of the gallery itself in a separate post, but here is a sample of the one of the works we picked up – a cup by Seigo Kaneyuki.  Elegantly simple, and visually stunning, the top section of the cup floats on a ring of glaze.

Seigo Kaneyuki cup image via (top) and  (bottom)

かなざわ燈涼会(とうりょうえ)Kanazawa Touryoue Offical Site

かなざわ燈涼会(とうりょうえ)Kanazawa Touryoue Offical Site

This weekend has been the Kanazawa Touryoue, a poetic name referencing the cool lights and lanterns on a summer eve in the Eastern Teahouse district.  The three-day event features collaborations and crossovers between artists, designers, gallery owners, and restaurants/cafes/teahouses.  We visited a few spots this evening, will upload and post images shortly…

Exhibition “Tokuda Yasokichi: The Power of Colour, Drawing on the Past” from The Japan Times Online

“Tokuda Yasokichi: The Power of Colour, Drawing on the Past” | The Japan Times Online.

…must find a way to see this exhibition – it’s currently at the Moa Museum, perhaps a good reason to visit Shizuoka, a prefecture I’ve yet to explore.  The third generation of a traditional overglaze family in Kanazawa, Tokuda Yasokichi III was trained in Kutani  techniques, but pioneered his own contemporary approach called saiyu, for which he was named a National Living Treasure (人間国宝 or ningen-kokuhou).  Works like the one above would be painstakingly applied with up to 200 gradational blends of Kutani overglaze colors to achieve the soft transitions seen in the image.