Ikuko Iwamoto is a Japanese artist living in London, whose intricate sculptural pieces are made from finely crafted porcelain. Her practice, formally focused on creating functional objects such as teapots and flower vases, is now producing larger works and sculpture.
Ikuko’s work has an uncompromising purity that is captivating. She describes her work as, “a world of intricacy and detail, of mathematical pattern and organic chaos, of beauty and repulsion.”
Ikuko began her education in ceramics in 1990 when she enrolled on the Crafts and History (Ceramic) course at Tezukayama College, Japan. After this, she became her ceramics tutor’s assistant, while also teaching ceramic design at other colleges.
In 2001, on the recommendation of her tutor, she left Japan to study in London. She studied first at Camberwell College of Art, before completing her MA in 2006 at the Royal College of Art.
Until 2009, the scale of Ikuko’s work has been restricted by the size of her kiln – an essential but expensive piece of the ceramicist’s kit. With help from the Crafts Council, she bought and installed a larger kiln excited by the future possibilities it would open up.
Ikuko has won numerous awards including the Ceramic Review Prize for Innovation at Ceramic Art London. Her work is in several public collections including the V&A and Manchester Art Gallery. In 2019 Ikuko won the Young Masters Maylis Grand Ceramics Prize, developed to celebrate excellence in contemporary ceramics. https://www.young-masters.co.uk/
Ikuko uses slip-casting technique, and then decorations are applied later on. They are often with dots to give works a tactile texture. And in her more sculptural pieces spikes are frequently used to express fragility.
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