Ceramic artists list
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japanese artist

Murata Yoshihiko: Ornamental Creature, 8, 2008, Maple wood, lacquer, abalone, 18 1/2” x 3 1/2” x 3/4”
/ Keiko Gallery - Japanese artists

  • Niisato Akio: Luminous Vessel, 2010, Glazed porcelain, 9” x 9” x 8 1/2”
    / Keiko Gallery - Japanese artists

  • Niisato Akio: Black Tea Bowl, 2011, Glazed porcelain, 5” x 5” x 3”
    / Keiko Gallery - Japanese artists

  • Mariko Husain: Necklace, 2011, Sterling silver, 18” (L)
    / Keiko Gallery - Japanese artists

  • Mariko Husain: Broach, 2011, Sterling silver, 18K gold, pearl, 3” x 1/2”
    / Keiko Gallery - Japanese artists

  • Takeda Asayo: Sculpturesque Purse, 2008, Cotton, leather, lacquer
    / Keiko Gallery - Japanese artists

  • Takeda Asayo: Sculpturesque Purse, 2008, Cotton, leather. 23” x 13” x 4”, Photo: Kano, Zenji
    / Keiko Gallery - Japanese artists

  • Takeda Asayo: Sculpturesque Purse, 2008, Cotton, leather, 24” x 9” x 4”, Photo: Kano, Zenji
    / Keiko Gallery - Japanese artists

  • Interview with Fujita Toshiaki - Japanese lacquer artist, Keiko Gallery

    Interview with Fujita Toshiaki - Japanese lacquer artist represented by Keiko Gallery, October 2011

    The special feature in partnership with Keiko Gallery includes interviews with 10 Japanese artists represented by Keiko, and many images with their works.

    → This interview is featured in Ceramics Now Magazine - Issue One, Winter 2011-2012.

    Ceramics Now Magazine
    : Not many people know that lacquer is used to make art pieces. Can you tell us more about this material and how do you use it?

    Fujita Toshiaki: The Urushi tree (Rhus Vernicifera) is a member of the sumac family of trees, found in various parts of Asia. The trees produce the sap which has been used as the coating and the adhesive material in Japan more than 9000 years. A poisonous substance when in liquid form (causing skin irritation), it becomes non-toxic on hardening and is waterproof and acid-proof. There are some examples that Native American use the sap of sumac, poison ivy or oak with the same purposes.

    Fujita Toshiaki Japanese Lacquer art - Ceramics NowThe season for harvesting sap is from June to October, and an Urushi tree must be between 8 to 13 years old before it is mature enough to produce only one cup of sap. The sap, an opaque light brown color, oozes from the slashes on the trunk, and it’s carefully scraped with a special tool; after this procces the sap is called Arami-Urushi. The Sap is stirred and carefully heated to equalize its components and remove excess fluid. Those Urushi is called Sugurome-Urushi or Kijiro-Urushi and used as the coating material for the upper layers.

    The drying system of Urushi is very different from other painting materials. Drying Urushi means to be harden. The laccase enzyme reacts in Urusiol which is hardening constituent and initiates a chemical reaction: oxidation polymerization. To increase the activity of the chemical reaction, the ideal temperature is 77F and the moisture set to 80%. That means if the air is too dry, the lacquer never gets dry.

    I focused on this characteristic drying system on Urushi and pursued to create the sculptures called layered forms. I daringly remove other elements in Urushi crafts, because they might interrupt my essential concept for my layered form series. However to understand what is lacquer or lacquer art, I should not deal with only unusual dying systems of Urushi, but also should focus on the traditional techniques, because sometimes we can find the answer in the techniques which were sophisticated and established by our forefathers. For the reason, I worked hard to acquire techniques like woodwork, dry-lacquer, colorings, coatings and decorations.

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  • Interview with Kawabata Kentaro - Japanese ceramic artist, Keiko Gallery

    Interview with Kawabata Kentaro - Japanese ceramic artist represented by Keiko Gallery, October 2011

    The special feature in partnership with Keiko Gallery includes interviews with 10 Japanese artists represented by Keiko, and many images with their works.

    → 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.

    Kawabata Kentaro Japanese Ceramics - Contemporary Ceramics Magazine

    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.

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  • Interview with Niisato Akio - Japanese ceramic artist, Keiko Gallery

    Interview with Niisato Akio - Japanese ceramic artist represented by Keiko Gallery, October 2011

    The special feature in partnership with Keiko Gallery includes interviews with 10 Japanese artists represented by Keiko, and many images with their works.

    → 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.

    Niisato Akio Japanese Ceramics

    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.

    Niisato Akio Japanese Ceramics - Ceramics Now Magazine

    Luminous Form, 2008, Glazed porcelain, 12” x 8 1/2” - View his works

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  • Interview with Murata Yoshihiko - Japanese lacquer artist, Keiko Gallery

    Interview with Murata Yoshihiko - Japanese lacquer artist represented by Keiko Gallery, October 2011

    The special feature in partnership with Keiko Gallery includes interviews with 10 Japanese artists represented by Keiko, and many images with their works.

    → 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 a very young and talented artist. What was your first experience with art and with lacquer?

    Murata Yoshihiko: I wasn’t exposed to the arts that much and didn’t know about Japanese lacquer work very well until I entered the art collage. I was interested in design and woodwork working and wanted to make the furniture for our daily life when I was a teenager. When I was a sophomore student, I choose the Urushi department for my major, but it was something uncomfortable for me. At first, I made many chaotic pieces, however those pieces are supposed to be an origin of my work today.

    Murata Yoshihiko Japanese Lacquer art on Ceramics Now Magazine

    Silhouette-02, 2010, Maple wood, lacquer, 8” x 2 3/4” x 1 1/2” - View his works

    Your works have an extraordinary sense of space and light, their shadows contrasting with the colors and the surroundings. How do you make these fantastic lines of dark? It has to do with the slim silhouettes of your works.

    I simulate the three dimensional shapes in my mind, for example, how lines will be flowing or how they are placed on the pedestals or attached on the walls. I believe that only lines which look beautiful from any angles can make the lithe and sharp silhouette.

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