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Akiko Hirai: Dry Kohiki Cereal Bowl, Grey, Flower Petal

Akiko Hirai: Dry Kohiki Cereal Bowl, Grey, Flower Petal

Hand-sculpted, stoneware bowl, matt exterior, faceted, with glazed interior

13cm diameter x 8cm high, 2017

Hand made in the UK



These wonderfully tactile cereal bowls are made from stoneware and finished with a faceted, flower petal design. With a clear transparent glaze inside, the exterior is coated with a coloured white slip called “kohiki”, which sits unevenly on the beautiful, heavily textured surfaces during the firing.

Akiko Hirai’s work is a cultural blend of both Japanese and British studio pottery traditions, resulting in asymmetrical, ‘imperfect’ organic forms. Akiko takes the ‘imperfect’ piece and tries to make perfection in her mind. She calls this ‘balance’. If it’s a good balance of imperfection she feels she is able to complete it in her mind. Recently she has been inspired by some impressionist paintings described in the exhibition guide as unfinished and therefore not considered ‘proper’ paintings at the beginning of this art movement. In the world of craft it was the connoisseurs, not the makers, who found beauty in the unpolished peasant craft work of Japan. These pieces were called ‘gete-mino’ translated as ‘badly made’ and were consequently considered second class artefacts.   Akiko is attracted to the unrefined quality of objects and in her work and she reveals great beauty in this ‘unpolished’ work.

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