For 3 days I participated in The 10th World Art Educators’ Workshop featuring IKUZO FUJIWARA and coordinated by Steve Tootell, ceramic art and performance art director from the International School of The Sacred Heart in Tokyo and facilitated by Euan Craig, a Mashiko woodfire potter for 20 years. Please, see the following LINK.
Fijiwara-san sculpting on his “Jaki”.
It was such an interesting workshop. Seldom did I meet such a nice and interesting man. He is wonderfully creative and artistic in so many ways. He is a ceramic mural artist and the only one left in Japan in these difficult economic times. He also is a landscape artist and sculptor. Please, also see his website: www.ikuzo.com
His reputation is established with more than 500 installations in major buildings throughout Japan. They can be as high as 4 stories, colorful and creative and incredibly complicated in design. At a school he installed a multi-dimensional mural, which students can view from left, right and head-on. Each view presents a different picture.
Fujiwara-san overcame the challenge of creating landscape-scale ceramic artwork with scientifically developed techniques and clays that allow for exceptional strength, durability, and massive size. He has revolutionized the large art form with precision engineered plans and modern electric kilns. He has a great, big, well organized, clean, workshop and design studio. All is very impressive.
He uses a Japanese convection kiln, the ancient oven from the Nara period from 1500 years ago, stoked with wood, to fire his gargoyles or “Jakis”: spirits from the natural world, objects of fear and respect.
Fujiwara-san and a very big “Jaki”.
He lives in Mashiko, the pottery and ceramics town that was the focal point for the renaissance of Japanese folk art under the guidance and leadership of Hamada Shoji, one of Japan’s greatest ceramic artists.
So, it was great to be back in Mashiko and to stay at the Mashiko Ceramic Art Center of Furuki-san.
Please, watch the following movie made by Steve Tootell of the 3-day workshop!