Friday, July 2, 2010


“Fundamentally, no form or shape exists. The fact that the material itself has a reason for existence is the starting point of my work.”

“Clay acquires meaning only in its relationship to fire and glaze.”

“The connection between the materials-clay, shape and glaze- and the factor called the human being brings about the concreteness of ceramics.”
Okabe Mineo (1919-90)

Okabe Mineo was the son of the legendary Kato Tokuro. Much has been written about Okabe, so I will not extol the history and achievements of his life. Let is suffice to say, he was a master of each style he embraced. His Ko-Seto, Oribe, Shino, Ash glazed and celadon works are among the finest of the 20th century. His use of Oribe was homeric in nature, second to none and in my opinion unparalleled in the 20th century.

(The chawan illustrated is an early Ko-Seto ash glazed piece by Okabe Mineo, circa 1950. This piece is used with the kind permission of a private collection.)

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