Friday, April 21, 2017


When I look at the press molded hachi plates designed and decorated by Hamada Shoji, I am always struck by the classic utility and economy of the forms. Designed for real use, a sense of beauty and the goal of making multiples, the forms are simple yet exceptionally functional for a wide array of chores, the least of which is to help define an environment. Each of these plates is carefully constructed, made almost as a canvas for the master; from rich and earthy glaze combinations, vivid swirled glaze pours or classic Hamada designs, each piece is both unique and linked to those that have come before and those that will be made after. There is a distinct lineage in much of Hamada's work and like the molded pieces of Kawai Kanjiro each piece starts as a similar and singular form but with the attention of Hamada each piece becomes an extension of his rich vocabulary that adds to the mingei tradition with which he navigates. Though as much art as they are craft, these pots are the epitome of what can be used and what can be appreciated.