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

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

Ceramics at the Geffrye Museum

Geffrye Museum

Have you ever been to the Geffrye Museum? It’s housed in a row of former almshouses on Kingsland Road in East London (Hoxton Station on the Overground is right next to it) and it’s the Museum of the Home. It has a series of room settings showing how the middle classes lived in different periods which are absolutely fascinating. But I didn’t linger over these on my most recent visit as I was there for Ceramics in the City. Continue reading

Japanese pottery on show in Muswell Hill

Michael Posner ceramicsMichael Posner and Friends is an exhibition of pottery in a small gallery in Muswell Hill, the Koukan Gallery, tucked away behind Alexandra Palace. I took a walk up through Alexandra Park on the first spring-like day this year to see what was on show. I found delicately beautiful ceramics, bold, dark pots and the artist himself ready to talk about his work and experience in Japan. Continue reading

Don’t miss these fabulous flame pots from five thousand years ago

British Museum Jomon PotsGuess how many pots they have in the British Museum flame and water pots exhibition. Twenty? Twelve? No, it’s two. Two pots. The two pots in the photo above, in fact. So now you’re thinking ‘Why should I bother with that?’ Because those two pots are seriously wonderful, that’s why. And they were made in Japan five thousand years ago, when the best our prehistoric ancestors could manage was Stonehenge. Continue reading