When we visited his house and studio, our eyes were stolen by the scene that many of big globe-shape ceramics are lying on the way to the entrance of his house. His dog, Koro-chan, was sleeping on the ground and that round object was just next to it. It is recognizable that these spheres were created by human, but surprisingly it looks like they were the objects from the nature.
The objects which has stolen our hearts are called, Marutusbo. Maru is round, globe, and circle, and Tsubo is a jar, vase and pot. This is, we think, one of his iconic series of works which have a lot of fans all of the world. One of the famous collector who enjoyed the life with Marutsubo is Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. They have placed his white Kohiki-style Marutsubo on their kitchen. (https://www.instagram.com/tv/B8HndaIHGEP/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link)
Usually he creates pottery with foot wheel, but this Marutubo was made by molds. Two of half-moon-shape was combined into one globe. Basically the molds are in three sizes, small one is 20cm in diameter, mid size is 30cm, and the large size is around 40cm. It is of course nice to display one piece, but with mixture of different sizes create different space.
Earth color or White color?
Earth color type of this round jar is glazed by natural ash. It maybe the reason why we feels those pieces were blended into the landscape. Green, blue, red, orange, brown, …..etc you can find many colors in it. The other types are white color. One of the white one is called Kohiki-style, iron-rich clay body covered over with white slip and then a translucent glaze. He makes many other works with this style, and the other one is called Jido, porcelain clay. Both looks white, but different texture and atmosphere.
There is a saying that “the artist makes half of the work, the collector makes the other half.” It maybe one of the most unique Japanese character of appreciating objects. When you get a piece from the artist, the piece is not yet finished work. The other half of making the piece is lays on you, depending on how you treat the piece. By your touch, and you using and living life with the pieces will have effect on the appearance and atmosphere of the work. Pieces which are cared, and loved will continue to be passed on to next generations, to children and grandchildren. The pieces which first created by the artist, will continue its journey of transforming with the interaction with human and environment of each period. In Japanese, this kind of changing process is called “sodateru” , which means “to raise”. What kind of face it will end up with is all up to you! Also please don’t be surprised to find some tears of glaze, cracks, etc… it is all parts of their face. To appreciate it is truly the part of “art of imperfection.”