Although I looked at, used, and touched pottery almost daily while growing up in Central Japan, I never actually made anything with clay. It has been a revelation to me to work with clay and finally be able to express myself artistically in this culturally familiar medium.
After I moved to the U.S. in 1987, a friend introduced me to a ceramics class at Raritan Valley Community College in Somerset, NJ. My first teacher, Ann Tsubota was very patient and never gave up on teaching me how to use the wheel. She also taught me how to approach to the idea of creating different artworks from the same simply shaped, thrown pieces. I still use this method of hers 27 years later.
My artwork is contemporary with a Japanese flavor, which Ann and Kevin Donohue, who studied in Japan, had given me emotional access. After looking for simplicity and perfection in each piece and hoping for a miracle glaze result, I finally found the joy of working with the many paths towards a beautiful form. After studying with Mikhail Zakin I found that a simple thrown piece would talk to me, telling me, ‘push me’, ‘cut me’, or ‘add something to me’, and perhaps more... Each piece makes itself unique.
My fifteen-year experience helping Holly Ciccoricco at TASOC with the children’s ceramics classes reconnected me with their endless energy and flexibility, and though I sometimes feel my artistic journey has a long way to go, I stop to collect myself, take a deep breath, and feel that youthful energy, and continue…