Urara Matsuzaki uses clay and glaze from Mashiko to create wonderful wares that combine the essence of Japanese and Western styles. We visited the workshop in Mashiko-machi, Tochigi Prefecture and asked about it.
Ms. Matsuzaki renovated a 100-year-old traditional house and runs her own studio and gallery shop ''tete+gallery''.
“I like the atmosphere of the Tea Room, which is like being run by a British grandma. Initially, I opened a shop with a friend where you can enjoy British tea sets and sweets. It's a 'te'." He spoke softly and quietly with a smile, just like the atmosphere of the work.
Currently, as a pottery and lifestyle miscellaneous goods shop with a lineup of items that are particular about Ms. Matsuzaki's sense, I open a shop irregularly while raising small children and making pottery. * There is no cafe space and only pottery and miscellaneous goods are sold.
I found something I liked one by one, such as doors, and it felt just right. Her father used to work as a designer, so he and I spent about a year renovating it together.
There is also a ladder that seems to be from this period.
It fits in naturally as if it had been there for a long time.
Next to the gallery is the studio space. It is a calm and stylish space with a Japanese atmosphere. Beautiful works of art are created here.
Ms. Matsuzaki said that he loved making various things using things at home since he was a child. Since I was in elementary school, I have attended painting and design classes, and wanted to create something, so I entered the industrial design course at Nihon University College of Art. In the midst of this, she began to want to make things by actually using her hands, and after graduating, she studied glass and ceramics at Buckinghamshire University in the southeast of England.
“European schools offer a completely different education for artists and craftsmen, so as I learned a lot, I began to think that I wanted to make things that I use in everyday life. She told me about Mashiko.I had never been to Mashiko until then, but I was surprised at the time that it would be an opportunity to learn about it in England,” says Ms. Matsuzaki.
The town of Mashiko was chosen by Shoji Hamada, a potter in the Showa period, as his production site, and is also closely related to the British potter Bernard Leach. After returning to Japan, Ms. Matsuzaki fell in love with the atmosphere and people of Mashiko, and trained at a pottery factory for three years. After studying the technique for one year at the local ceramics technical support center, she became independent.
Mashiko clay and glaze are used in the work, aiming to convey the warmth and gentle feeling of Mashiko ware.
The combination of white glaze is said to have been learned at an art school in England.
The pattern is inspired by Japanese kimono patterns and British antique wallpaper and fabrics. After adding black soil to the base material, a needle-like tool is used to draw a shaving pattern.
Vietnam's Bat Trang pottery and Chinese ceramics are said to have inspired him to start making pottery. Somewhere nostalgic, you will be drawn into the cute and fluffy world view.
As an aside, Bach Trang ware from Vietnam is the reason why the owner also likes pottery. Also, when I was young (!), I had lived in England, so it was fun to talk about various things. Oh, I want to go to my grandmother's Tea Room in England.
From now on, I'm looking forward to wonderful works like Ms. Matsuzaki!
Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules.
**Shoji Hamada and Bernard Leach
Showa ceramic artist Shoji Hamada, along with British ceramic artist Bernard Leach, developed the Japanese Mingei movement advocated by thinker and aesthetic scholar Soetsu Yanagi, and found beauty in traditional everyday pottery. Spread the word. In 1920, he traveled to England with Leach and set up the Japanese climbing kiln "Leach Pottery" in St Ives, Cornwall (southwest of England). We rediscovered British folk art slipware that had been used before industrialization and had almost disappeared at that time, and researched folk art techniques from Asia, China, Europe, etc. rice field. Shoji Hamada has a production base in Mashiko and has been active throughout his life. Today, we continue to interact with the descendants of Shoji Hamada and Bernard Leach, as well as the descendants of his disciples. St Ives is a beautiful port town rich in nature, home to many artists' workshops and galleries, and is now a popular resort destination. Mashiko Town and St. Ives are also sister cities.
Click here for Rei Matsuzaki's work