Being busy is a good thing, but even I have limits. Since my last entry I have had a successful three person exhibition at Takashimaya department store in Nihombashi, Tokyo, with Penny Simpson and Peter Seabridge; A three day workshop for the International School of the Sacred Heart; Completed the order for G'drop and I am right now in the middle of a solo exhibition at the Kyohan 6 Gallery in Mashiko. So please forgive me for the extended silence!
This is my first exhibition in Mashiko this century, having had a number of exhibitions here during the nineties. In fact it's my first exhibition in Tochigi prefecture in four years, the last one being at Gallery Ciel in Utsunomiya. I have been concentrating on exhibitions in Tokyo, Saitama, Miyagi and other areas of Japan as well as overseas, and I have neglected to do anything locally for far too long.
The Gallery is directed by Ikuzo Fujiwara, an exceptional architectural ceramicist and sculptor who studied at the Kawai pottery in Kyoto. I knew that he was going to write a comment for the invitation card, but did not see it until the cards actually arrived. Here is the translation.
Concerning Euan Craig
Quite some time has passed since I visited his studio and he showed me the kiln that he developed.
Very efficient, burning only recycled wood, these days it would be referred to as an “Eco-Kiln”. I was impressed by his ingeniously considered solutions, his uniquely rational way of reforming anything into a personal method.
His approach to “The Art of Function” is also unique. What kind of food will be served on his vessels? How his works will be coordinated as tableware? He takes steps to address these issues, to make work to fulfil those purposes and achieves a degree of total design that a potter would not normally undertake.
Vessels that come to life through the act of use; what simple and powerful works these are.
And yet, not stopping there, he turns “The Art of Function” into “The Function of Art”, striving to change the Art of Function into an even more positive force. A fine example of this is the unique flame colour of his work. His original porcelaineous body brings with it the warm flavour of clay.
By taking that extra step, his work holds the power to alter peoples’ lifestyles. This is what I would hope is the essence of the art of function.
When one thinks of “Mingei” in global terms, it can be said that his stance is pointing a way forward for the inheritance of “mingei” in the modern age.
By all means, I invite you to consider his work.
Kyohan 6 Gallery
This is my twentieth year in Mashiko, and I came here with a hunger to learn and understand the Japanese tradition. I have learnt a great deal about myself in that time, and have come to understand that there are commonalities that we all share as humans that transcend race or culture. I am honoured to have been accepted here in the home of Mingei, not as a guest, but as a fellow craftsman.