Thursday, 7 August 2014

"W a b i"*   C E R A M I C S

Clay is a heart-warming medium to work with. You can lose yourself in a malleable piece of dough as you knead, pound and shape it, and then give to it colors of imagination.  The transformation is nothing short of magical as the kiln is opened and a dull raw glaze covered creation is transformed into an artwork.

Glazes add an ethereal beauty to any piece of pottery. Then there are clays that are so rich in color and texture that they don’t require any glazing. In Ceramics, richness and simplicity can both be appealing. A richly decorated piece with balance in patterns & color can be a masterpiece. A piece with no decoration, just a balanced form and the right kind of clay/ glaze to accentuate it can be one too!

Today’s feature focuses on the series titled ‘Mushimegane Books’ by the Japanese potter Misa Kumabuchi. 

Misa’s work is simple to the core and ‘Wabi’* in its philosophy.  One can spot imperfections – a not so circular bowl, a not so perfect handle; all marks of a handmade creation, no two of which are alike.

The collection encompasses a range of forms & finishes, all strikingly beautiful.

I have had a deep connection with Japan since childhood and the one aspect that I revere about things Japanese is finesse and simplicity. The most complex arrangement would have a methodical, refined process that is so simple that one cannot go wrong executing, and, admiring it.

“Her work is inspired by the texture of soil, which is made up of minerals and shells that have traveled from various places over time. She aims to bring the wonders of the natural world to people through the vessels.”

This boot shaped creation in porcelain has been a part of many of Misa's exhibitions. Amazing to see how many different ways it has been used. I particularly like the one with the bonsai & its use as a tea cup.

These bowls & containers look too fragile to have endured 1400 C temperatures. Porcelain is famed for its translucence & strength; the coloring in these pieces further adds to their appeal.

"The concept :
Mushimegane books create vessels on the theme of people and sounds.
We have many sounds and various encounters in everyday life.
If words were musical notes, we would live while singing.
Add a rhythm to everyday.
Add spice to the day."

Less is More. Ceramics can't get any more minimal than this, and any more beautiful!

*Wabi : "Wabi-sabi is the quintessential Japanese aesthetic. It is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is a beauty of things modest and humble. It is a beauty of things unconventional." From the book : "Wabi-Sabi: For Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers", by Leonard Koren

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