"The Course of Nature in Clay"
Featuring Artist: Shoko Igarashi
Exhibition Dates: April 1 to May 9, 2008
Location: Multicultural Center Art Gallery (Baker University Center 2nd Floor)
Please join us for the reception on Friday, April 18, 2008 4:00pm to 6:00pm.
Location: Baker Center University Center Multicultural Center Theater Lounge
Light refreshments will be provided.
All of my ceramic pieces are made from my memories of my family, and from my hometown of Fukushima City in Northern Japan. These works reflect my Japanese culture and embody my appreciation of nature. Almost all of my ceramic works were made on a wheel, for example, all of the vases, bowls and dishes. The more abstract sculptures were made by hand building. The teapots were created by combining the two techniques of wheel and hand building. These ceramics were fired in different types of kilns, including soda, salt and wood kilns. Each type of kiln gives the final finish a different characteristic and color surface. I like all of the finishes, especially the salt kiln ones that give the surface its mild, warm tones and hues. These finishes are closest to my personal artwork vision. I’m interested in nature and so many of my motifs include plants, insects and animals. Nature is also an important element of Japanese culture. When I lived in Japan, I use to follow the seasons with my meals and coordinate them with different ceramic plates reflective of the season. We enjoy the coming of the new season and appreciate the quieter moments in life. The dinnerware set in this collection is an example of a more traditional Japanese style, made in the fall of the year. So, I drew seasonal plants such as the chestnut, Japanese maple and grasses on the surface of the dishes. I like making teapots the most because of the process involved in creating each individual part. For me, the best teapot is one where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts (handle, lid, spout, etc.) It is easy to change each of the respective parts into abstract flora and fauna shapes. I find the round lines gives fuller expression to one’s deeper feelings.
Shoko Igarashi studied graphics design at the Tohoku Kouka School in Northern Japan. She worked as a graphic designer’s assistant for more than ten years at an advertisement agency in Fukushima City, also in Northern Japan. She moved with her husband to Athens, Ohio in 1996. Shoko started making ceramics shortly after arriving in Athens, and feels very fortunate to have this unique chance to explore and develop her art. She especially appreciates the support of many friends, art instructors, and family, especially her husband who has been very supportive of her artwork. Shoko is very grateful for this special opportunity to show some of her ceramic works here in Athens.