Shiro Oni Studios, Onishi, Japan
My time in Japan and the Japanese fundamental understanding of Wabi Sabi and its filtration into Wabi-cha (the iteration of the Japanese tea ceremony founded by master Sen no Rikyū) has greatly influenced my work. Their deep rooted appreciation of age, imperfection, and unpretentious rawness helped me find freedom and life in my work again.
In Japan I was also introduced to the ritualistic firing of an Anagama, the Japanese style of wood fired kiln. This style of bringing pieces to life felt much truer to the process than any electric kiln I had used before - pressing a button and coming back the next day to unload. In the week long process of the loading, glazing, and firing, a community inevitably formed. Sleeping on the mountain together, taking shifts stoking the fire through the night, cooking for one another over open flame, and making sure everyones’ cups - including the offerings to the kiln gods on top of the kiln - were always full of sake. We came together, despite language barriers, over the kiln pulsing with fire and possibility. It is true magic.