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YUTAKA NAKASHIMA
CERAMIC ART (POTTERY)
Ms. Nakashima’s studied graphic design at technical college, because her ambition was a career in design. She began practicing ceramic art, a previous interest of hers, while she was working at a signboard company. Then, in her mid-30’s, she set her heart on becoming a ceramic artist. She worked for a pottery glaze manufacturer, and now creates art works which utilize her broad-ranging knowledge of glazes.

PRODUCT CONCEPT

Ms. Nakashima is skilled in using a motorized potter’s wheel. Many people associate potter’s wheels with making pottery containers. However, her passion is making a different kind of ceramic item. For her collaboration with Japanique, her pieces serve as both interior accessories and art objects. A ring stand, shaped like a ceramic hat, is her first collaboration item. Put your favorite rings on it as decorations so you can see them better!

PRODUCTION PROCESS

Producing the sticks for bamboo arts and crafts

Clay may have different regional characteristics, but the production process behind ceramic art is very similar all over the world. Clay is basically made of powdered rock and sand: the artistic process consists of clay forming, bisque firing, pattern sketching, glazing, firing, painting and then firing. There are a variety of techniques for forming clay, but Ms. Nakashima uses a motorized wheel. She puts a lump of clay on the wheel, and skillfully forms and shapes it with her fingers and hands, creating the art work little by little. At first sight, the ring stand looks like a solid piece of clay, but the inside is actually hollow. The artist makes it slightly thick at the base, making adjustments with her fingertips.
*Different raw materials are used for pottery and porcelain. The basic material for pottery is clay, whereas porcelain uses a type of kaolin clay called toseki. Pottery is fired at a lower temperature than porcelain. It feels almost warm to the touch and makes a dull sound when struck. Porcelain is white in color, feels smooth and makes a crisp metallic sound when struck. Ms. Nakashima uses pottery clay for her work.

Color combinations which evoke both Japan and the West

Forming and shaping clay with a motorized wheel is not just a matter of making a base from a lump of pottery clay. Once the clay is dry, whittling the surface down is also an important part of the process. Then comes the decoration of the finished base by painting it with glaze mixed by the artist herself. The tint of the glaze changes slightly depending on the mixing ratio, but for these works she has been careful to use pastel colors which match the interiors of European or American houses. This combination also evokes the traditional Japanese kimono and obi (traditional Japanese garments – full length robe with sash).

  • The artist pares down the surface of the base after it has dried, and gives it a smooth finish so it is easy to use as a ring stand.

  • Mixing the glaze. The artist makes the glaze, mixing it with paste.

  • Painting the glaze on with a brush. The color does not change from the way it looks before firing.

PRODUCTS BY YUTAKA NAKASHIMA

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