Hand-sculpted, stoneware beaker or yunomi, coarse matt exterior, faceted, with smooth glazed interior
Approx 9cm wide x 8.5cm high
Hand made in the UK
These beautiful Yunomi beakers are designed to compliment the Dobin Teapot. With a clear transparent glaze inside, the exterior of they are coated with a coloured white slip called “kohiki”, which sits unevenly on the beautiful, heavily textured surfaces during the firing. The design is inspired by the curving textures of Kamakura-bori – the old folk craft of wood carving based in Kamakura, Japan. To achieve this result Akiko has carved into the clay.
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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