Swanica explores Japan

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Last Saturday, was the presentation of the awards of the 6th Mashiko International Ceramics Competition 2006 in Japan.
The two main awards are the Shoji Hamada Award (judged primarily on the basis of how successfully they combine the elements of form and function), and the Shoji Kamoda Award (judged on the degree of expressionism achieved through the imaginative blending of material and form). Then there are eight Special Judges' awards and 90 commendation awards. I received a special Judges' award for my "Horsehair Vase" choosen by the art critic Mr. Rupert Faulkner.

I'm standing here at the stairs going up to the Mashiko Museum of Ceramic Arts, the Togei Messe, where the exposition is held for the winning pieces from the competition from October 8 - December 10, 2006.

This is the Museum.

Three of the eight judges: Yoshikawa Mizuki (ceramic artist), Hayashi Hideyuki (ceramic artist), Hamada Shinsaku (ceramic artist), son of Hamada Shoji.

I give an explanation about my "Horsehair Vase".

Judge Yoshikawa Mizuki gives his comments about why my piece was choosen and Euan Craig (ceramic artist) is the translator.

The piece quietly standing in its case.

What Mr.Faulkner said of my piece:

"Right from the beginning I was struck by this piece, whose quietude was so different from the brashness of many of the large-scale works on view. Thinly thrown in ovoid form and fired to a low biscuit temperature, it is as fragile and delicate as a bird's egg. Movement and variation are provided by the indentations to the mouth and the burning of horsehair. It is a work that cries out to be picked up, caressed and
protected. It brims with life even as it exudes an agonizing sense of vulnerability. It is both a metaphor for and a manifestation of the creative act at work. And it does all this with such understated modesty."

Thank you, Mr.Faulkner.


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