MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, BOSTON
It first surprised me , then pleased me, that my intention to create stoneware of subtle coloring and design with a strong, aged and natural feeling, resulted in this body of work reminiscent of river-worn stone.
My pieces are high-fire stoneware, uniquely glazed and fired. They are fired to cone 11 (about 2350 degrees F) in reduction twice. I have developed and refined my own glazes over many years and perform repeated glazing and firings. I use wood ash to achieve the special color and texture and extra thickness of glaze which gives a warm feeling. The surface becomes so integrated with the clay form that it appears to be made out of one solid material. Reduction firing creates a new layer between the body and the glaze. This layer improves physical strength and is interesting visual canvas. The unique glaze, applied largely by dipping, creates interesting variations in color and pattern and a characteristic natural look. Specks of color with occasional random galactic patterns and subtle iridescence may develop during the firings. Application of glaze and firing atmosphere provide a wide range of the color and the depth.
My goal is to find a voice in creating pieces that are based on my Japanese heritage. I grew up in the quite traditional Japanese house, very basic, simple and beautiful though I did not feel this way when I was living there. But now I realize this atmosphere deeply influenced me.
I aim for the Japanese idea of beauty, a quality of understated elegant simplicity that speaks quietly for itself, and objects with a refined, unobtrusive sophistication. They embody the patina that only time can bring: a deeply spiritual kind of elegance, rooted in the quiet appreciation of nature. I am also influenced by the design aesthetics of various countries where I have traveled and lived.
My work is decorative and contemplative but most of my works are also functional. I expect and enjoy that people often create the use for my pieces. My pieces find their own use.