Hanako Nakazato is a Japanese-born potter infusing a much-needed breath of minimalism into the decoration-filled contemporary American pots scene. Now splitting her time between Japan and the Union, Maine, Nakazato allows the ceramic process and material to create the identity of each of her functional pots.
“I try to bring out the natural beauty of the clay and glaze,” explains Nakazato.
Looking at AKAR’s Yunomi Invitational, you might think that modern pots are made as entertainment objects: celebritized potters creating Instagram-friendly status homewares – pieces for showing off more so than for eating off of. Much of this type of work is fabulous, but its popularity has overshadowed a core value in functional pottery – enhancing the dining experience.
“A ware’s significance is only complete when it is used” she explains. “The same ware will manifest different expressions depending on the food it carries. I want people to enjoy that variation.”
Her past has directly influenced the work she produces today, and it is exposed clearly if you know what to look for. Hanako Nakazato comes from 14 generations potters in Japan and her work is strongly influenced by the ceramic traditions of her home, Karatsu. This is where her muted palette, quiet forms, and devotion to function originate. Nakazato also spent years traveling and living in the West and grew up in Florida. Her western influence can be seen in her clean modern forms, sharp line quality, and practical design for use in a contemporary domestic space.
You can find her work for sale in Studio KotoKoto.
What do you think of Hanako Nakazato’s hybrid-culture pottery? Let us know in the comments!