Searching all of Japan for handcrafted items that express its heart and soul, our proprietor, KASHIYUKA presents things that bring a bit of luxury to everyday life. For this Casa BRUTUS special pottery issue, she traveled to Ikoma, Nara prefecture, to visit the home and studio of one of her favorite ceramicists, Daiki Takashima.
“Casa BRUTUS is coming out with an utsuwa (pottery) issue, and so we thought we’d have you, the KASHIYUKA Shop proprietor, visit a ceramicist’s studio to celebrate it.” When the magazine’s editors approached me, the first name that came to mind was Daiki Takashima, in Nara. The artist’s signature rinka-zara, petal-form dish, is extremely popular. I’d learned of it two years earlier, but his work is so coveted that it was always sold out. The fact that he has just three shows a year – only one every two years in Tokyo, which has people lined up from break of day – intrigued me. I was fortunate to be able to buy one at a solo exhibition, and in using it myself, came to understand… It’s adorable. Truly sweet. The kokuyu , black-glazed petal dish, brings out the color of the food, while the white-dusted kohiki glaze seems to tenderly envelop its contents. These are surely worth standing in line for!
Mr. Takashima lives in a 60s-era house with his family and his French bulldog, Bon. He previously worked in a corner of his living room, but more recently he renovated the house and created an independent work space. Between the living quarters and the studio is a splendid gallery space that he designed from scratch, made more beautiful by its stained-glass windows, which he’d found at an antique shop a decade earlier, and asked the proprietor to hold for him until renovation was completed.
Following through the home, he gave me a look at how he makes the 15 cm (5-suhn, using the old form of measurement) rinka-bachi, the petal dish, in the studio beyond the gallery. First, he lays a 6 mm-thin slab of clay into a flower-shaped mold, covers it with cloth, and applies light pressure. He then deepens the engraved lines of the petals and refines the contours. That he makes a thousand, two thousand of these, each by hand, astounds me.