Let me just start off by saying wow, these pots are absolutely incredible. As soon as I saw these beautiful works by Japanese potter Shinsaku Nakazono, they really did blow me away and gave me a lot to think about. I love works like this because they tend to flip any prejudices, it makes you look at certain elements in a new way, a way in which you didn’t think was possible previously. In this case I’m pointing towards the unusual glazes and the specific use of colour.
To be quite honest, I have a strange affinity with colour, specifically those colours that are bold and striking. I feel that anything demanding too much attention is not ideal, these objects should blend in naturally with our environment and work in harmony. Obviously, without the other side of the spectrum we wouldn’t have all these contrasting shapes and forms, so I’m quite conscious of that. It’s a yin and yang scenario. At the end of the day these objects are made to solve specific problems, the best products look natural on the eye, like they could be anywhere and they would not look out of place. In my opinion, Shinsaku has really mastered the art of colour on his vessels, the tones are near perfect and aren’t too overpowering under natural lighting. At the same time, they can be used with joy and satisfaction due to the beautiful shapes and functional forms. The way in which the glaze is layered with the different colours is very unique, it almost creates a texture itself and makes a certain aura surrounding the pots.
Shinsaku has been making ceramic works since a young age, he was born in Kobe, Japan but moved his studio to Mashiko, Tochigi in 2011, which is well-known for its pottery. The area was popularised by Living National Treasure Shoji Hamada who set up a studio in Mashiko in 1930. Many looking to return to a more traditional Japanese lifestyle tend to settle in the area, and it’s a perfect environment for creating craft works that require a slow and steady mentality. Mr. Nakazono has taken this way on board and has created vessels which have a sense of movement but at the same time an unpredictability, such as the cracking and defects caused by nature. As you can imagine these would be perfect for use in the tea ceremony, and for any home for that matter. Very beautiful indeed!