Thursday, March 10, 2011
Another great loss - Toshiko Takaezu
Following text via Frank Lloyd Gallery
Toshiko Takaezu (b. 1929), born in Hawaii of Japanese descent, has been working in clay for over forty years.Her work has developed steadily throughout her career as she has moved from producing functional vessels to abstract sculptural forms.Over the years she has continued to draw on a combination of Eastern and Western techniques and aesthetics, as well as her love of the natural world.For Takaezu, the practice of building vessels in clay is intimately linked to everyday life:
“In my life I see no difference between making pots, cooking, and growing vegetables.They are all so related.However there is a need for me to work in clay.It is so gratifying and I get so much joy from it, and it gives me many answers in my life.”
Throughout her career, Takaezu has explored a select repertoire of forms, often focusing on the vertical closed vessel that has become a symbol of her work.While her earlier pieces were almost exclusively wheel-thrown, as she began envisioning larger forms she incorporated hand building techniques as well, which allowed her to grow her vessels vertically and eased the circular restrictions of the wheel.The simple, cohesive structures she is now well known for are united by their common form but gain individual character through the painterly aspects of their surface decoration. Takaezu’s spontaneous approach to glazing, in which she walks around the vessel freely applying glaze through pouring and painting, balances her more methodical building process and allows her to add an improvisational element to her work.
Another important aspect of Takaezu’s involvement in clay has been her roll as a teacher.Her love for clay is infectious, and she has shared it in many forms.In addition to her 23 years of teaching at Princeton and the many workshops she has performed, she has given her time to generations of apprentices.The many awards and honors she has received, from the Hawaii Living Treasure Award to her honorary doctorate degree from the University of Princeton, demonstrate the wide range of people and institutions that find inspiration, history, and meaning in her work and life.
For more info and to purchase a book about this amazing woman please visit The Earth in Bloom