Thursday, December 13, 2007

a sad day.

with a small tear in my eye i inform you that Tatsuzo Shimaoka from japan passed away on dec. 11. shimaoka was a star apprentice of hamada's and a "living national treasure" in japan, the highest honor one can receive in that country. i had never met him personally but knew many who had worked with him. i had a recommendation from another potter several years ago to go and work with him but didn't, thinking i might like to wait until after school. that dream has slowly faded with the burden of adult responsibility but that dream is now dead. i've never regretted that decision as much as i do right now. so this evening, in remembrance, tip your glass to a great potter and great man.

about him here


klineola said...

A sad day indeed. I think that as potters, there will always be regrets of missed opportunities as you have mentioned, but hopefully the legacy of good potters will live on in our work. I was just looking at a few early Shimaoka pieces yesterday that are part of a friends vast collection. They were some of the best pots I saw. I was surprised at the ruggedness and the delicacy that coexisted. His combination of color and texture in his work have long been an inspiration to me. There is nothing like getting hands on those pots. Thanks for the blog, I just ran across it. Keep up the good work.

Togeika said...

I traveled by bus to Tokyo to Shimaoka Sensei's birthplace with the other apprentices to the big funeral there. We all served as ushers. The next observance is the 49th day memorial in Mashiko on January 24th. Other foreign apprentices are talking about coming.

It is an end of an era. I began my 3 year apprenticeship with him when he was 80. I feel an obligation to share what he shared with me. I do a McKnight residency in Minneapolis next spring and will use it as an opportunity to share.

Lee in Mashiko, Tochigi Japan

"Tea is nought but this: first you heat the water, then you make the
tea. Then you drink it properly. That is all you need to know."
--Sen No Rikyu
"Let the beauty we love be what we do." - Rumi