Friday, February 3, 2017


Stop me if you have heard this one before, a bellied cylinder is thrown out of porcelain, over a foot tall, then is carefully manipulated creating intersecting plains which are all covered over in a thin coat of white slip and combed to accentuate each surface, well it sounds simple enough on paper. Having had the opportunity to study this piece it is painfully obvious that the potter, Kakutani Hideaki (b.1945) is quite skilled at altering and moving porcelain as each intersecting plain is defined from the interior and I suspect from the exterior prior to having the slip applied. This all making for a rather intriguing vessel with a wonderful array of textures and a beautiful soft blue seihakuji landscape all stemming from an uncomplicated cylinder. Kakutani Hideaki, whose father was Ningen Kokuho for his iron tea kettles, Kakutani Ikkei (Tatsujiro) went on to  study with Kondo Yuzo and Kiyomizu Rokubei VI before setting up his own studio in 1975 and was awarded the Cultural Merit Award from Mie Prefecture for his dedication and preservation of his art form. Born into a household where craft was highly valued and its place in life well understood, Kakutani's work speak of a desire to create functional objects while being ever considerate of the beauty and atmosphere that craft presents to viewer and user alike.
"Strong reasons make strong actions." Wm. Shakespeare (King John)