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Shōji Hamada

(1894—1978) Japanese potter


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Bernard Leach (1887—1979) potter and writer

 

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(b Kanagawa, 9 Dec 1894; d Tochigi, 5 Jan 1978). Japanese potter. In 1920 he went to England with Bernard Leach, who had been staying in Japan, and together they set up the Leach Pottery studio in St Ives, Cornwall. Hamada worked there until 1924, when he returned to Japan. He settled in Mashiko in Tochigi Prefecture, where he continued to produce ceramics using reddish brown iron glaze and black-and-white devitrified glazes and clay from the surrounding region. He absorbed traditional technical methods and emulated the organic beauty of various forms of Korean ceramics and of the folk crafts of Japan, and in particular Okinawa. In 1926 with Muneyoshi Yanagi and others he promoted the Mingei (‘folk crafts’) movement. In his later years he established a simple, bold style working with such techniques as salt glazing (e.g. Pitcher, salt glaze on Chinese cobalt, 1960; Ohara, Mus. A.).

From The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Decorative Arts, Furniture, and Industrial Design.


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