Interview with Kawabata Kentaro - Japanese ceramic artist represented by Keiko Gallery, October 2011
→ This interview is featured in Ceramics Now Magazine - Issue One, Winter 2011-2012.
Ceramics Now Magazine: You were among the first contemporary Japanese artists to combine ceramics and glass when constructing a new work. How did you start to connect these materials?
Kawabata Kentaro: I wanted to to extract the ingredients from the glaze and embed them into the clay. For example, I tried to use fragments of smashed glass bottles, feldspar, silica stone and beachsand in my white porcelain works, and I did that by mixing these fragments with the glaze. I also wanted to observe the chemical reactions between those materials and the clear glaze after the firing. Throughout these experiences, I was fascinated about the harmony of the different kinds of translucency between glass and white porcelain. I also love touching the unfired clay with bits of glass inserted into it, and I want to get the similar feeling after the firing. I want to constantly develop my work, so I am still looking for new glazes and new kinds of glass as well as interesting materials which go well with my style of work.
Batista, 2011, Glazed clay, glass, silver, 26” x 18” x 12 1/2”. Photo by Taku Saiki - View his works
What is your present project and how do you make the pieces? Tell us more about the process.
Now I am trying to construct a few sculptures using slip casting. After making several different kinds of plaster casts, I connect them. I use my original technique in my newest works, which consists in applying small clay balls and sand on the surface.
Interview with Niisato Akio - Japanese ceramic artist represented by Keiko Gallery, October 2011
→ The interviews will be published in the first printed issue of Ceramics Now Magazine. Pre-order Issue nr. 1 - Winter 2011-2012 or subscribe for one year.
Ceramics Now Magazine : You are about to start working as artist in residence at the Harvard Ceramic Studio. What do you hope you’ll learn from this experience?
Niisato Akio: I am very interested in the different perspectives on craft art, especially Ceramics between US and Japan. I feel that the vessels are more appreciated in Japan rather than US, as well as the ceramic art itself. I would like to know why and I will research on these issues during my stay at Harvard. I am looking forward to seeing new people who will give me a lots of inspiration.
Luminous Vessel, 2008, Glazed porcelain, 5” x 5” x 10” - View his works
Ceramics Now Magazine: The lightness and pureness of your works makes them unique. Tell us more about how do you make them.
Niisato Akio: White is a simple color, but it can express the subtle nuance between sensibility/ pureness and lights/ shadows.
After I throw the pieces, they are razed as thin as possible, and then I drill the holes with an electric drill, one by one.
After the firing, I sand the surfaces and the glaze is applied manually into the holes. Another glaze is applied all over the surfaces with a compressor and then the pieces go into the kiln at 2246(F). It is not so easy to make the smooth surface with a single firing, because the holes absorb the glaze very easily, so they need to be fired two or three times to get a nice result.
Luminous Form, 2008, Glazed porcelain, 12” x 8 1/2” - View his works