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.
Mr. Takashima makes pottery in many and varied forms, from mold-pressed dishware (naturally, using his own templates) to hand-painted decorative dishes. First comes the urge to create: “I want to make this kind of dish!”. He then uses this inspiration to make and remake the form until he arrives at something that meets his initial vision exactly. The work is simple yet filled with his presence. I imagine this appearance of simplicity is the result of his lengthy process of adding and subtracting features upon thoughtful consideration. Each single piece stands apart as a sophisticated work of design, and yet they work perfectly together as an ensemble with the power to fit any scene, grace any occasion.
“The most important part of the work is what you don’t see. There’s no call to be flashy. I like dishware that gradually reveals its quality and beauty, dishes that come into being when food is placed upon them.” So says Mr. Takashima, and I couldn’t agree more. His ceramics are beautiful and so fervently sought after, and yet in daily use they’re perfect; and simple, everyday food shines in them. I noted that his own cupboard was filled with his work. I was particularly taken with one white glazed bowl (shown). “This is especially good for fruit with yoghurt,” Mr. Takashima says. “I enjoy using a purple spoon when there are grapes in it, or an orange one for persimmons. Different colors for different fruits.” It’s because he uses the dishes himself that he can best discern each one’s specific charms.
And for this month’s purchase I decided on a rinka-zara, a small dish. The first is a 4-suhn rinka-zara whose size suits many uses. The sight of it in the Takashima household, filled with water and sprinkled with wildflowers was enchanting. Another is the black-glazed Rinka Obachi, the large vessel, which should go very well with salads and stewed vegetables. Dishware of such outstanding size makes for a striking dinner table.
Born in 1965, the Takashima family has been making ceramics in his birthplace of Kyoto for generations. His early training took him to making dishware for top restaurants and Japanese cuisine specialty shops before establishing his own studio practice in Nara prefecture in 2001. This fall he’ll present another solo show in Takamatsu –Official Site
This month’s purchase: Black-glazed Rinka Obachi (Large Petal Bowl), 24 cm in diameter, 10 cm high, ￥10,000. Kohiki Rinka-zara and Mame-zara (smaller dishes) are priced at ￥2,000 for the 8 cm and ￥4,000 for the 15cm.
Yuka Kashino (KASHIYUKA)
Yuka Kashino, known as KASHIYUKA, is a member of the electro pop group Perfume. Their highly anticipated new album is set for August and they'll go on the road to support it starting September. An admirer of Japanese ceramics and traditional crafts, she passionately seeks out new items and shows online and through social networking. Official site – www.perfume-web.jp