I love seeing imagery of creatives and artists at work, so when I stumbled across this fantastic looking set featuring Japanese potter Yoshiyuki Shimizu I had to pull it over for all of you to enjoy. Wonderful originality in the photography and I think all these of these do a great job at conveying his work. For example, you can see him above using a wooden kick wheel to make his beautiful pots, as you scroll down you’ll get a sense for the firing process and his lifestyle in general, which looks very natural and laid back. I even like the fact that he’s placed in an image of the wood that he has used to fire his pieces, just ties it all in perfectly.
Although I don’t know too much about Yoshiyuki I found out that he was born in the Kumamoto Prefecture, which is located on Kyushu Island. At the age of 24 he started pottery at the Kyoto Prefectural University and then trained with Masami Maruta kilns, Masami is one of the most popular ceramists in Kuromuta, Saga. He started studying ceramics under Atsuya Hamada, the third son of Shoji Hamada who was appointed as a Living National Treasure in 1980. Mr Shimizu then went on to open his own independent kiln and in 2008 built one in a hill behind his house, making use of the underground space and his general surroundings.
As you can imagine Yoshiyuki has taken part in many solo exhibitions and is stocked in quite a few stores in Japan, it’s exciting to see someone so dedicated to their craft. You can tell he truly loves it through the objects that he makes, every one has it’s own individual marks and indentations but they’re all very useable. We were actually discussing this in the office today, saying about mass production and how over here we struggle to see the same sort of items that you do in Japan. Often the simple items are mass produced and the gallery items are all elaborate and expensive, serving not as a functional piece for people to use. I guess there’s a massive difference in mentality, and through creativity you can definitely see the divide in my opinion.
Well I hope you enjoy the imagery and you’ll take a gander around Yoshiyuki’s website, I was blown away by the different images and the archive that he has on his website. You’ll also be pleased to know that he’s got both a blog that gets updated regularly and a nice list of shops that stock his work, just incase you were interested in seing his pieces in detail or purchasing some.