American trendy-pottery has an aesthetic – bright, bold, illustrated, high-gloss or bare-clay, with decoration on the bottom. This is all fun and dandy, but where has the sensitivity in ceramic art gone? A lot of this work covers up mediocre forms with over-powering surface (what I like to call wood-fired syndrome). My favorite work focuses on just a couple aspects of ceramics and makes them unbelievable. Can we really expect an artist to be a supreme painter and designer and craftsman and photographer and entrepreneur and teacher?
Japanese potter Tadamasa Yamamoto has it right – white, one technique, limited forms. The result is glorious expertise created within specific parameters for some of the most outstanding functional pottery being made today.
Yamamoto makes simple, white, semi-porcelain kitchen-ware. All of his distinctive cups have a repeated faceted surface that retains surprisingly crisp edges, as if they were not touched again between the cut and the firing.
Analogue Life explains his casserole, “Tadamasa Yamamoto’s casserole, handmade from Iga clay, is ideal for boiled or stewed dishes. Iga-yaki is one of Japan’s most highly-regarded traditional ceramics. The porous clay allows for excellent heat distribution when slowly simmering dishes.”
Yamamoto studied sculpture at Kanazawa College of Art and is now based in Iga-shi, Mie, Japan. Find his ceramic art in the Analogue Life shop.
What do you think of the focused Japanese ceramics compared to loud contemporary American pottery? Tell us in the comments!