Made in Hasami, Nagasaki, Japan
I have travelled to the idyllic and historic town of Hasami, Japan to live, learn and work with highly skilled, Japanese artisans as an artist in residence.
The ceramic industry in Hasami started 400 years ago in the early Edo Period. At present there are 110 kilns, manufacturing many products every day however Hasami’s porcelain quality and technically sophisticated, hand-made processes can’t compete with China’s mass production or the cheaper, mechanized alternatives to tableware.
The process of living and developing my body of work in Hasami, Nakaoyama, with this small community of artisans, nestled in mountains and surrounded by nature, is just as symbolic and meaningful to my work as the work itself.
Grandmother Yoshimura at the kiln and workshop – Toba – oa
It was with open arms and a big smile, that Mr Yoshimura and his wife accepted me as their artist in residence.
This wonderful workshop and kiln has the atmosphere of family closeness, happy, but very busy work days and people who do what they do because they love it.
There could be no better place to have found myself.
Mr Yoshmura is a humble visionary who has a passion for ceramics and for forging new designs whilst still preserving the beauty and tradition of Japanese porcelain ceramics. This lively and warm man is an artist himself and clearly loves what he does and the people who work for him.
Miriam, a young German artist has put down roots here at Nakaoyama and has worked for Mr Yoshimura for over a year and a half at Toba – ao. She is an initiative designer, a gifted artist and ceramicist who has developed a collaborative design line, with master painter Murakami Miwako, called M-Pots. Mirjam Rickert speaks Japanese, German and English, and without her this residency wouldn’t be possible! M is a delight to know and work with.
On Mr Yoshumura’s instruction, I was brought down to the storeroom on one of my first days here. The bisque-ware that sat quietly behind the shutter doors of a shed in the middle of rice fields and surrounded by mountains was inspiring and I began to get ideas immediately!
After some test pieces and a week of really nutting out what I want to create here, I am underway.