Katsufumi Baba is a Japanese potter who resides in Kurume, a city in Fukuoka Prefecture. He’s been interested in ceramics his whole life and after majoring in law he decided to follow his passion and become a full-time potter.
So in 1995 he travelled to France and went through Europe for two years to see and learn from European potters. Once he had returned he spent two years as an apprentice to a local potter in Japan, and in 2003 set up a small studio in his home town of Kurume, where he has been creating his own pieces ever since.
Katsufumi is interested in creating functional beauty, items that you can use over and over for ones entire life. Aesthetically his pottery has little decoration and are very traditional in form, using a simple colour palette of black, white, and a combination of the two. It’s only when you get up-close you can see the subtle changes in the glaze that are created during the high firing in his kiln.
Our attraction to him as a potter was the simplicity in the techniques that he uses, as well as the rustic beauty found in the pieces themselves. His work always gives me a particularly distinct feeling, picking them up makes me think of nature itself, an appreciation for perfect harmony which shows his skill for balancing asymmetry with touch.
As you can see from the photos here, his works have small “imperfections” scattered throughout, often the walls are not perfectly straight or feature little marks on the surface. But these really speak to the unpredictability of the whole process and the material itself. For me, this unpredictability should remind us that nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.
Hopefully you like his humble pots and will flick through these photos here to see inside his workshop and how he goes about making these pieces. A selection of works are available to purchase in the shop. Oh yeah, and his cute cat Tanpopo (meaning Dandelion) also features here. Enjoy.