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Shoji Hamada

Head, Heart, and Hand

Tori Richard

on 17 December 2009

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Transcript of Shoji Hamada

Shoji Hamada master of the balance between... the heart... and the hand. the head... (December 9, 1894 - January 5, 1978) "Roundness of the man."
-Bernard Leach
(friend and Leading European potter)
living craft traditions

“If it is new instead of old and cheap rather than expensive, then I am happier.”
- Shoji 1920: @ age 25, Shoji went to Cornwall, England to work with Leach for three years.
Together, the established the Leach Pottery at St. Ives, Cornwall. life and work was a blend of the East and the West.
East - Tea and Yanagi’s Buddhist philosophy
West - medieval England 1911: while studying ceramic science at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, The works of Bernard Leach and Kenkichi Tomimoto influenced Shoji into becoming a potter.

1916: attends Kyoto Ceramic Testing institute 1926: established the National Craft Society with Kawai and Yanagi

Against industrialization, later founded the Nippon Mingei-kan Museum in Tokyo. 1924: Decided to establish his compound in Mashiko upon remembering a teapot he saw in 1914 that was made by Masu Minagaw - from Mashiko - In technical school and leaves Kuwai's house. Yinagi - importance of unknown craftsman and beauty in folk craft 1936: yinagai, hamada and Kawai established the term mingei - art of the people - folkcraft “mono o miru me”
eyes that see things
US: “He has an eye for things.”
japan: not only sees the thing but sees into it =======technique========
“Glaze is only the clothes. The body is the heart”
-Shijo •Group - 7 - is an extension of the man.
Sons - •Shinsaku and Atsuya
deshi - oka-san
mrs. hamadas deshi - 3 daughters The “rhythm for his daily life that is like the never-ending flow of the kiln ” (50). workshop building – 60 ft X 21 ft – old farmhouse from tochigi prefecture7 wheels – 6 korean kick wheels made of kayaki wood and 1 chesnut hand wheel- Shoji sits level (NEVER would have an electric wheel)
knife must be rusty - preferably a fishermans knife
raw glazes at pottery are made of ash and impure materials – not like Americans in consistency, condition and application
Mashiko has a shorty - only 400 year - history of pottery.

The Korean kick wheel is used for large things while the hand wheel is used for small pieces. Clay:
can afford a year's supply of clay - the plasticity and workability + w/ agingThe various types of clay for the village is pickaxed from the side of the mountain at Kitagoya
Shijo uses the clay as it comes from the mountain
coarse sandy clay -
"Its better to make a good pot from bad clay •“Americans don’t comprehend clay, the long stages of preparation necessary to make raw clay plastic and strong” – Shinsaku
•Machine clay hard on the outside and soft on the inside.

Lack of plasticity. •values process - Old technique was to lay over the top edge of the big cylinder twice to make the lip strong, then widen to make bigger – way is lost
adds on clay on the wheel and adding little bit of clay at a time
decorates every pot himself - most notabley, the brush patterns of bamboo and sugarcane with iron pigment
the speacialty of the house "- glazed with black khaki decorations
•Hamada ddint change his style. It changed naturally. - like Nigiyaka
"Hamada is always being born" (152). no kimochi
- or work will smell 1949: recievies the 1st Tochigi Perfecture Culture Award

1952: visits the UK and the US

1955: Designated as a Living National Treasure as a Skill of Folk Pottery 1968:
a yearly holiday is established in his name!
Recieves Order of Culture from the Emporor of Japan
Publishes 77 teabowls
dedicates museum to his folk art at Mashiko compound
dies after several years of illness- worked inbetween sickness episodes glaze firing
- 2300 degrees @ completion
-use 40 year old logs in chamber
-5 materials- wood ash, ground stone, ground volcanic stone, rice husk ash
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