International Ceramics at Erskine, Hall & Coe

Lucie RieI’ve been to the Erskine, Hall & Coe gallery in the Royal Arcade again, this time for a mixed exhibition of international ceramics that includes several Japanese ceramists as well as some of the major names in English pottery like Bernard Leach and the modernist Lucie Rie. They all work in a pared-down, honest style that owes a lot to the Mingei movement in Japan pioneered by Shoji Hamada. Continue reading

Yasuhisa Kohyama ceramic sculpture – the past reinvented

Yasuhisa KohyamaCall me shallow, but I do like it when I go to a gallery that’s as nice as the art they’re showing. I don’t like grubby, badly lit spaces – I want somewhere that’s bright and airy. I hate it when normally pleasant galleries decide to show their paintings in the half dark. If I want to peer at dimly lit objects in the gloom I’ll watch Wolf Hall. Luckily Erskine, Hall and Coe pass the nice gallery test with flying colours, and the art – by acclaimed ceramicist Yasuhisa Kohyama – is great too. Continue reading

Japanese bone china from Stoke on Trent

Reiko KanekoWhen I think of Japanese pottery, I tend to think of just that – pottery. Usually thick, earthy pots made in traditional kilns, either by professional potters in the old kiln areas of Japan who’ve handed their skills down the generations, or craft potters who work in the Japanese tradition of wabi-sabi. But today I’m covering something different; a Japanese designer who works in the English tradition in that most English of pottery towns, Stoke on Trent. Continue reading

Classical and Contemporary Japanese Pottery

Japanese PotteryI’ve been wanting to visit the Harlequin Gallery, which deals in classical and contemporary studio pottery and ceramics, for a long time as they have an interesting collection of Japanese pottery for sale, but they exhibit in Central London only rarely. However, last week they had a brief show in Shepherd’s Market, so Yannick and I rushed down to see what was on offer. Continue reading

Edmund de Waal at the Turner Contemporary, Margate

Edmund de WaalI cover Edmund de Waal’s exhibitions on the blog whenever I can – I love his ceramics – and his strong association with Japan through his family netsuke collection and his training as a potter qualifies him for a blog about art (and other things) with a Japanese connection. Though I’m stretching things a little as his current exhibition isn’t in London but at the Turner Contemporary in Margate. Still, it’s day trip-able from London so do what I did and get down there for a look – you won’t be disappointed. Continue reading

Hitomi Hosono – the ceramic intricacy of plants

Hitomi Hosono I’m a big fan of Hitomi Hosono, the ceramicist whose modern take on a Jomon pot has been acquired by the British Museum and is currently on display in their Japanese Gallery.  So I was excited to hear she had been selected as one of the artists in this year’s Jerwood Makers Open, which recognises rising stars in the world of applied arts and supports them with open commissions. The result of this in Hosono’s case is seven beautiful porcelain pots in shades of yellow, emerald green and coral. Continue reading

Fukushima Kimonos at UCL – Clay becomes Cloth (well, almost) 

Yuko Yamaguchi - Fukushima kimonos The University College London Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction Annual Conference is not the first place you’d think to look for Japanese art, but for two days last week the conference offered a rare opportunity to see Yuki Yamaguchi’s Fukushima kimonos, in the South Cloisters at UCL. When I arrived the conference tea break was in full swing, and I had to dodge between the participants to get a look at the artworks. They were fascinating (the kimonos, not the participants) – made, not of cloth, but of ceramic tiles. Continue reading

Mashiko Pottery – honest, simple, lovely

Mashiko Pottery

It’s no secret that Yannick and I are fans of Mashiko Pottery, so when I heard that they were going to be showing at the Earl’s Court Craft/Home/Top Drawer exhibition I emailed him right away and we both got very excited. I wrote about some of the other stalls we visited in my last post, but Mashiko deserves a post all of its own. Continue reading

Edmund de Waal at the Fitzwilliam Museum

Edmund de Waal, a thousand hours

The Edmund de Waal exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge is subtitled On white; Porcelain Stories from the Fitzwilliam and de Waal fans need to note that because it’s not an exhibition of de Waal’s works; it’s a re-curation by de Waal of four of the ceramic galleries at the museum with two large-scale ‘interventions’ (works) by him, one of which we’ve seen before and one which has been specially commissioned for the Fitzwilliam’s Chinese Gallery. Is it worth a day trip? I went with a couple of friends and we all absolutely loved it. Continue reading

Shozo Michikawa ceramics

Shozo Michikawa

I’ve been continuing my adventures in Bond St this week – this time in the Royal Arcade which runs between Old Bond St and Albemarle St. I was there to see Shozo Michikawa’s ceramics at the Erskine, Hall and Coe Gallery. I managed to walk up and down the whole of the Royal Arcade in each direction before I clocked that the gallery is on the first floor – with a fantastic view down the arcade once you get inside. And some fantastic ceramics on display. Continue reading