Connie Norman: Invisible Strength, detail
Brian Kakas: Dimensional Transitions Series #4, 2008
White Stoneware, slab built, 44” H x 34”W x 37”L, Cone 7 Reduction
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.