Friday, 22 August 2008
Being busy is a good thing. Finding a balance between making, selling and being with my family is not always easy. It was wonderful to meet with all of the people who visited my exhibition at Takashimaya, but I could only be there for seven days out of the total three weeks. Thank you all for coming, and I'm sorry to those of you I missed.
Takashimaya was followed a week later by an exhibition at "Utsuwazaka" in Sakado in Saitama Prefecture. Once again the exhibition was quite long and I was unable to be there except for the last weekend. The gallery owner, Chiba san, was very understanding. Though this was my first exhibition with him he has been dealing in my work through a Mashiko gallery for a number of years. He also knows that I put my family first, and if they need me here, then here is where I choose to be.
The work in the two shows was different, Takashimaya focusing on western cuisine, Utsuwazaka on Japanese. The common thread was vessels designed to enhance and bring out the best in the food, pots to bring joy to the user. It is always important to realise that completion of the vessel is in the hands of the user, and I trust the user to bring out the best in the work, just as I have learnt to trust the forces of nature in my work process and surrender control to them.
When doing signature dinners I design the work in collaboration with professional chefs, but then surrender the work into their control. I trust the chef. In these exhibitions the gallery staff displayed the work for me, in ways I would not have done myself. They are professionals in their field.
The table coordination at Takashimaya, for example, incorporated crystal, silver and lacquer ware by other artists as an accent to my work. It put my ceramics in perspective, as it would be rare to serve a meal with only my vessels.
Even though I work alone in my studio, I am not making my pots for me. Yes, they are a personal expression of my perception of beauty and function, but I make them for the people I love. By giving up control to nature, to the user, to other professionals, it allows the work to go beyond my abilities and become part of a greater work.