Interview with Tanoue Shinya - Japanese ceramic artist, Keiko Gallery

Interview with Tanoue Shinya - 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 : What was the starting point in your investigation with ceramics? Do you remember your early works?

Tanoue Shinya: When I was a student of Theology at the Doshisha University, I also belonged to the ceramic club. I was just absorbed to make something with clay in the club’s room. I worked for some textile company for two years after the graduation, and I entered Kyoto Saga Art College because I wanted to learn more throwing techniques. I remember the pieces I made in the college very well. The pieces I’ve made in my freshman year are the origins of my current series.

Tanoue Shinya Japanese Ceramics - Contemporary Ceramics Magazine

KARA-10: Fu- a, 2010, Glazed clay, 7” x 26” x 4 1/2” (h) - View his works

Your works may be simple, but the details, the lines and curves of your works are very sinuous. Tell us about how do you construct your pieces.

After creating the vessel or sculpture’s shape with coil techniques, the slip is applied on the surface. And then I groove the surface with needles one by one and at the end I rub iron into those grooves.

The important theme of my pieces is the shell - egg shells, shells of fruits or seashells, because they are deeply related to the normal circles of life. The cobalt blue in the pieces represent the ocean, which is the origin of life on Earth.  The wombs are consideres to be the shell of human beings, so if I could express in my pieces the memories of leaving the wombs (leaving forever the protective and comfortable feeling), it would be wonderful.

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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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Interview with Takeuchi Kouzo - Japanese ceramic artist, Keiko Gallery

Interview with Takeuchi Kouzo - 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 : In your career as a ceramic artist, you took the challenge of using white porcelain in constructing complex geometrical systems. Tell us more about the motifs of your work.

I want to make people feel the passage of time over my pieces. When people see the remains of a culture or decayed buildings, they evoke special emotions. I want to express not only the ruins themselves, but also the atmosphere surrounding them and their strong presence. In other words, I want the audience to feel exactly how I felt when I looked at the destroyed buildings and ruins.

Takeuchi Kouzo Contemporary Japanese Ceramics

Modern Remains D II, 2006, Glazed porcelain, 21” x 22” x 9” - View his works

In what techniques do you usually work and what materials do you use?

The pieces are made out of porcelain clay. I make many hollow square tubes with slip casting and compose them before they get dry. After the biscuit firing, I apply the glaze and put them into the kiln at 2264 (F). I use the electric kiln for my white pieces.


Time is something you’ve embraced when constructing (or deconstructing) your works. What’s your works’ relation with time?

The geometric dense squares represent man-made buildings and I considered that the pieces might be able to embrace time if I break them, because the decayed geometric construction might evoke us about our far future. Since the color of white shows the lights and shadows clearly and dramatically, it maximizes the pathos and emotion of the modern ruins.

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Interview with Mariko Husain - Japanese jewelry artist, Keiko Gallery

Interview with Mariko Husain - Japanese jewelry 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 : Your works are exquisite and embrace all the qualities of elegance and rhythm. Can you explain the constructing process? Do you work alone, do you have a studio? It sure needs a lot of delicacy.

Mariko Husain Japanese jewelryMariko Husain: I was very fortunate to have learned Jewelry design at Central School of Art and design in London, England where their focus was on teaching to follow the theme of one’s interest, explore all possibility and develop design fully.
The process of my work is very much involved on developing ideas, drawings, playing with paper models and metal samples. Using paper and fabric pressing to create texture on metal and mat finish are my preference.
All my work are created from sheet & wire of metal and hand made with no castings. The equipment I use includes various hand-tools, milling machine, flux soldering machine, etc.  to produce my work. I have a studio where I work alone to create my designs and make my jewellery.

Mariko Husain Japanese Jewelry - Ceramics Now

Earrings, 2011, Sterling silver, pearl, 1 1/3 (L) - View her works

The continuous forms and elements of nature seem to be your inspiration, but have you ever tried to do something more rigid, or geometrical?

In the early stage of my career I tried to work on geometric designs, however I found my self drawn to the themes of nature especially the rhythm, movement, texture, power, stillness and so many variations of form and pattern of water.


What can you tell us about the theme of your works and the materials you use?

The theme of my work has been mainly water, including ocean, river, stream, water fall and lake. I work mostly with sterling silver accented with 18K. yellow gold. I like the visual effect of the combination. I occasionally work with 18K white gold. Many of my work include pearls, precious & semi precious stones.

Mariko Husain Jewelry - Ceramics Now Magazine

Necklace, 2011, Sterling silver, 18” (L) - View her works

Ceramics Now Magazine : The market for your jewelries consists in elegant women. Where do you sell your pieces? Do you think that exhibiting them helps you work to be more recognizable?

Mariko Husain: Unless I am working on a commissioned pieces I do not think of my market. My ideas come to me naturally. If I were to focus only on certain demographics, I feel that it would stifle my creativity. I sell my work at Keiko Gallery in Boston MA. and I do yearly exhibitions in Tokyo, Japan. Due to these exposures I have gained many customers who look forward to my work and continue to return often to see my new creations.


What’s the most important advice you can give to a young artist?

If you follow your passion and pursue your dream every thing will come true.

Mariko Husain contemporary jewelry design

Broach, 2011, Sterling silver, 18K gold, pearl, 2 3/4” x 1/2” x 3/8” - View her works

Visit Keiko Gallery’s website.

Keiko Gallery feature - Japanese artists

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Interview by Vasi Hîrdo - Editor of Ceramics Now Magazine

Interview with Takeda Asayo - Japanese textile artist, Keiko Gallery

Interview with Takeda Asayo - Japanese textile 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 one of the most appreciated textile artists in Japan, with many awards for your purses. When did you start working with textiles?

Takeda Asayo: I started making purses in 1970 and had my first solo exhibition in a gallery in 1983.

Do you remember how much you asked for the first bag you created to be sold?

It was about JPY 12000 (=$150). That purchase made me confident and gave me the power to go forward.

Takeda Asayo Japanese Textile artist - Ceramics Now

Sculpturesque Purse, 2009, Cotton, leather - View her works

More than 30 years ago, you established your own independent studio for the production of fabric sculpture and bags. What can you tell us about the studio, how it evolved in time?

I would like to create the usable sculpture rather than just looking. I believe that this new concept appeals to many people, so I have been able to continue my style until now.


Your works have an amazing and innovative design which distinguish itself. You carefully chose the fabric material, and you try to make your works to be comfortable and complimentary to the human body. Doing all that, you find a balance between functionality and design. How?

Our body of work consists in many curved lines, so I always consider that the shape and lines of my purses can harmonize with our body line. I prefer to improvise rather than using the fixed patterns. That makes my purses comfortable to wear.

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Ian F. Thomas: The Eagle and the Arrow, Wheel-thrown porcelain, slip, gas fired cone 6, graphite, image transfer, arrows, elementary school chair, gilded brick kiln stilt, paint / 40x16x16 inches, 45 lbs

Ian F. Thomas: The Eagle and the Arrow, Wheel-thrown porcelain, slip, gas fired cone 6, graphite, image transfer, arrows, elementary school chair, gilded brick kiln stilt, paint / 40x16x16 inches, 45 lbs

Interview with Claire Muckian - Artist of the month, September 2011

Interview with ceramic artist Claire Muckian - Artist of the month, September 2011

→ Subscribe to our monthly newsletter if you want to receive news and interviews with ceramic artists.

Ceramics Now Magazine
: You are a very young and talented ceramic artist. Can you tell us what was your first experience with ceramics?

Claire Muckian: Thank you, but I’m not that young actually. I studied art in school, liked it very much but never considered it as a possible career. After many years training and working in various environmental management roles, I began to realise how much I missed making art. So, I returned to the University of Ulster in Belfast to do the BA Fine and Applied Arts with a view to specialising in drawing. There, I had a brief introduction to clay, which I had never used before and had an instant connection with it as a material. I loved how malleable it was and how you could so easily transfer a quality of touch during making. I viewed it as an extension of my drawing practice. So, I made an impulsive decision to specialise in ceramics for my Degree after that.

Claire Muckian Contemporary Ceramics Magazine - Artist of the month

Turbine, porcelain - View her works

Constructing using hand-building techniques give your works a sense of delicacy and lightness. How do you make your works? Tell us more about the process.

As I mentioned before, I enjoy making where I can transfer a sensitivity of touch to the material. It is important for me that the sculptures maintain a certain immediacy, vibrancy, and vulnerability that can be achieved easily with drawing, but that tends to be lost when making 3-dimensional work.  I think this is the case with ceramics in particular, where so much time and processes are involved. I predominantly choose hand-building techniques such as pinching and coiling so you can build quickly and loosely. I’m not so interested in the perfect surface and I like to achieve an appearance of the handmade. I like the texture of hammered metal and to leave holes and marks like fingerprints. This gives the work an unfinished aesthetic that adds energy and immediacy to what are seemingly primitive works but that still feel fresh and relevant.

I wish to heighten the viewer’s awareness of space, air and silence.  I am interested in the viewer’s experience and response to objects, particularly the handmade object. I believe that the viewer finishes these forms off in their mind and participates in their making to a certain degree.

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Interview with Shamai Gibsh - Ceramic Technique, September 2011

Interview with Israeli ceramic artist Shamai Gibsh - Ceramic Technique, September 2011

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→ The interview with Shamai Gibsh is featured in Ceramics Now Magazine - Issue One, Winter 2011-2012.

Ceramics Now Magazine
: What was the starting point in your investigation with Saggar firing and Terra Sigillata painting?

Shamai Gibsh: Terra sigillata painting intrigued my imagination when I was a teenager.  At first, I saw Venetian vases decorated with black and white figures and later with color painting, as part of the history and heritage of the eastern Mediterranean board. Years later, when I was already a ceramic artists, I researched terra sigillata and the rediscovery of it in the 20th century, and started to apply it to my work. I tend not to use glazes in my work, except for exterior mural work. Thus, the use of terra sigillata over the last 15 years enabled me to reach a non shiny and a very appealing color palate, and when fired within saggar vessels in the presence of organic materials or smoked firing, appears to have exiting results. I fire within a saggar, which is an enclosed clay vessel that holds the specific organic material, to get the desired results. Over the years I have used many forms of organic materials like saw dust, salt Marché, pine needles, various seeds and fruits. These days, I mainly use pine needles collected from two forests; one in the Carmel mountains and the other one close to my studio.

Installation “Stelae 2011”, 235x213x55 cm. Stoneware, Terra sigillata, Saggar firing.


Tell us more about the process of constructing your works. Does it take much time, do you have to make many preparations?

The manual part of my work: wheel throwing, hand building murals and sculpting occupy a large part of my time. However, these come after an idea has been formed following considerable thoughts, planning and designing. Naturally, I am influenced by my roots, the immediate cultural and social environment and by the exposure to anything that touches us as human beings. Therefore, yes, it is a lengthy process.

My preference of the use of sagaar firing also contributes to the prolonged preparatory phase in my work. Bone-dried vessels, made out of white stoneware clay, are covered with three layers of terra sigillata, occasionally decorated with copper cuttings and bisque fired to cone 06. Metal soluble are also used for decoration, and the objects are inserted into clay vessels (saggars) which are just a bit larger than the fired object, and filled up with organic materials, mostly pine needles, pretreated with different oxides. I fire in reduction to around 1000C.

Preparation of murals varies. At times terra sigilata is applied in different layers on a plaster board in a reverse pattern, followed by a thin layer of liquid clay. When in a leather-hard state, the board is lifted and cut into tiles, bisque fired and only than saggar fired. In other instances, tiles are painted with terra sigiillata, applied with layers of various copper cutting and even painted with oxides and metal solubles, bisque fired and saggar fired.

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Interview with Mark Goudy - New artist, September 2011

Interview with ceramic artist Mark Goudy - New artist, September 2011

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→ Pre-order the first printed issue of Ceramics Now Magazine - Issue nr. 1, Winter 2011-2012.

Ceramics Now Magazine
: Your work with ceramics has been active only in the last three years. What did you do before that? Tell us about your first experience with ceramics.

Mark Goudy: Well, my mother was a potter, starting back in the early 70’s, and so when I was a teenager I was exposed to clay through her work. She had a studio in our basement, with a wheel, kiln, glaze mixing area, etc. I tried throwing on the wheel back then, but I didn’t really connect with the craft aesthetic or the making process during that time. I was more interested in playing music and adventuring outdoors than working with mud.

Somehow thirty years went by before getting my hands back in the clay again. I ended up studying engineering and enjoyed a twenty-year career in the computer industry (designing graphics chips for companies such as Pixar, Silicon Graphics, and nVidia). It wasn’t until a little while after my mother passed away that my wife Liza had the idea of paying homage to her creative spirit by taking a raku class at our local adult school. Pull pieces directly out of a red-hot kiln and drop them into burning sawdust? …sign me up! It was fun performance art, but it was the building process that really drew me in. I started hand-building and designing systems to create forms that reflected my own sensibilities. More classes followed, and within a couple years I left the virtual world of computer engineering and was spending a lot of time in the clay studio. It was refreshing to be working with such a physical material and in a process where every piece created embodies its own unique identity.


Three Vessels - clockwise from left: (m70) 7”w x 3”h; (m81) 10.5”w x 4”h; (m71) 8”w x 3.5”h


You usually work with soluble metal salts, that give impressive shapes and patterns. How do you make the pieces?

I may have been influenced by my experience in computer graphics, where you can render all sorts of interesting objects composed from intersecting curved surfaces, but early on I wanted to get away from the radially symmetric forms that come about from working with the wheel. So I learned about slab construction and ended up making a series of special hump molds (by pouring plaster into stretchy fabric suspended through triangular cutouts in plywood) to shape the clay. These molds enabled me to construct forms out of asymmetric parabolic curved surfaces, which had immediate appeal. My basic process is to shape, and then join these surfaces together to make my rounded vessels. The arcs in these pieces are designed to fit the sweep of my hand as I burnish the surface by rubbing with a smooth stone. For now, I enjoy working in a scale that fits easily into the hands, with forms that feel like waterworn stones.

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Mark Goudy

Mark Goudy Contemporary ceramics magazine

Mark Goudy's profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View his works

"The process of working in clay is a grounding experience that focuses my attention in the present moment, but also is a tangible thread that connects across time with twenty thousand years of ceramists who preceded me.

My work is an exploration in shape and pattern, using the enclosed vessel as the underlying form. These vessels are constructed from asymmetric curved surfaces that project a unique contour with each viewing angle. The interior space is intentionally hidden, leaving the contents to the imagination, metaphorically containing perhaps hopes, dreams, or spirits. These rounded shapes are meant to be held and, when set on a flat surface, gently rock before coming to rest at their own natural balance point.

My approach is to combine ancient methods of stone-burnishing and earthenware firing with computer-aided shape design to produce talismans that fuse traditional and modern aesthetics. Surface markings are created by painting water-soluble metal salts on bisque-fired clay. These watercolors permeate the clay body, and become a permanent part of the surface when fired. I have a strong affinity for intricate abstract patterns, ones that can’t be fully comprehended with a single glance, an invitation to in-depth exploration.

These ceramic forms echo the geometries of nature: waterworn stones, shells, seedpods, expansive desert landscapes, the Milky Way on a moonless night.” Mark Goudy

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Mark Goudy: Surface (p47) - 17.5”w x 4”h; handbuilt burnished earthenware, soluble metal salts, fired to cone 04

Mark Goudy: Surface (p47) - 17.5”w x 4”h; handbuilt burnished earthenware, soluble metal salts, fired to cone 04

Are you ready for the first printed issue of Ceramics Now Magazine, what are your expectations?

Pre-orders will be available later this day on our website. The first issue will be published in November 2011, and will be delivered to your home at the end of November or beginning of December. It will also be available at selected stores in USA and UK.

The magazine will be a trimestrial publication (four times a year - Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn), and will cost 15$ USD plus shipping costs.

Confirmed artists so far: Carole Epp, Carol Gouthro, Roxanne Jackson, Claire Muckian, Arthur Gonzalez, Cynthia Lahti, Shane Porter, Liza Riddle, Antonella Cimatti, Blaine Avery, John Shirley, Margrieta Jeltema, Connie Norman, Jim Kraft, Shamai Gibsh, Mark Goudy, Ian Shelly, Ian F. Thomas, Patrick Colhoun, Wim Borst, Chang Hyun Bang.

Interviews with the exhibiting artists at the Overthrown: Clay Without Limits exhibition: Gwen F. Chanzit, Katie Caron and Martha Russo, John Roloff, Clare Twomey, Paul Sacaridiz, Linda Sormin, Del Harrow, Benjamin DeMott, Mia Mulvey.

+ Our September newsletter will be sent tomorrow to our subscribers. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here.

Mark Goudy: Vessel (m57) - 12.5”w x 4.5”h; handbuilt burnished earthenware, soluble metal salts, fired to cone 04

Mark Goudy: Vessel (m57) - 12.5”w x 4.5”h; handbuilt burnished earthenware, soluble metal salts, fired to cone 04