╳ Takeshi Yasuda

  His list of exhibitions are as numerous as the awards that have been bestowed upon him, yet Takeshi Yasuda almost remains one of the best kept secrets. Based in the UK, this Tokyo born Japanese potter trained at the Daisei-Gama Pottery in Mashiko, which has been in the Otsuka family for seven generations, and significantly are the last pottery studio in Mashiko to continue using the wood fired kilns.

After settling in Britain in 1973, Mr Yasuda taught at various art institutions, he was Professor of Applied Arts at the University of Ulster, but now is Director of the Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen, China, which is known as the ‘Porcelain Capital’ because it has been producing quality pottery for 1700 years.

“Even after 40 years of handling this strange material called clay is still amazes me,” Yasuda says; and if you feel that some of his pieces have collapsed, then you are correct. In Yasuda’s ‘Unfolding’ series, forms are ‘collapsed’ on the wheel and then hung upside down to stretch them back as they dry, and visible throughout his ‘Folding’ series are pieces which have ‘slumped’ during firing in the kiln much like glass-forming techniques.

Yasuda’s ‘Celadon’ series is delicate and palpable, with rough pastry edges that suggest fragility, but are deceptively strong. This witty contradiction lies in the secrets of the glaze, which is a family of transparent, crackle glazes that can be manipulated through multiple layers to produce colours ranging from white to grey, blue and yellow. Often mimicking the green shades of jade, iron oxide is applied to the glaze recipe to produce these most recognisable results.

The hallmark of Takeshi Yasuda's work is his ability to communicate a tactile quality that retains the soft malleable nature of the clay. His palette is puritan in colour and the fluid shapes are decorated with softly dented surfaces and occasional slip trailing which offers unlimited tactile sensation, and this mixture of control and ease, the casual and formal makes
Yasuda's work so appealing.