"Ambition is a Dead Sea fruit, and the greatest peril to the soul is that one is likely to get precisely what he is seeking." 

- Edward Dahlberg

Residency at the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park - July & August 2017 

 

Located in the countryside near Kyoto, Shigaraki is the site of one of Japan’s six ancient kilns; it is one of the oldest pottery-producing areas of Japan. Shigaraki pottery is characterized by its simple unglazed surface with irregular colors ranging from gray to reddish orange and even black. The distinct rough and rustic surface is due to the local clay that naturally contains numerous pieces of feldspar and silica stones of various sizes. The surface markings are achieved by a very primitive form of wood-firing kiln called Anagama.

 

The Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park was created in 1990. It is one of the biggest ceramic residencies in Japan supporting and nurturing a wide range of activities in pottery and ceramic art, including artistic creation, training, and exhibitions. For this residency, I hope to take the elements of the Shigaraki style, using a combination of Shigaraki clay and porcelain, experiment with wood firings, to create sculptural works reflecting the tradition and spirit of rustic Shigaraki ware.

 

Materials used: Shigaraki woodfire clay, porcelain, glazes.

Firing: works were first fired in wood kiln to 1260°C, then in a gas kiln (oxidation) to1300 °C.

Many thanks to the support of the Canada Council for the Arts for me to participate in this productive and inspiring residency.

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