NIHONMONODiscovering Japan [Nihon] through authentic craftsmanship [Honmono]

Ceramics with freshness ”Ceramic artist, Norio Kamiya”

Ceramics with freshness
”Ceramic artist, Norio Kamiya”

Made from iron and Mashiko soil ”Tetsue Doirodori”

”In the beginning, I wasn’t motivated to be involved in ceramics. But my parents told me ’If you are going to college, we will pay only if you go to an art college. Anywhere else, you’re on your own.” Usually it’s the other way around, right? (laughs)”
Kamiya was born to a Mashiko potter family. He learned about drawing, which was something totally unfamiliar to him, in just a month, and got accepted to Tama Art University.
He became obsessed with the charm of ceramics after that.

The characteristic of Kamiya’s ceramics is the ”Tetsue Doirodori” technique which uses motifs of familiar plants like the plum, grape and camellia.
A white coating is applied to Mashiko soil, pictures are drawn with iron, and color is added with copper.
His pieces have a magnanimous touch and a warmth where the grass and flowers might come to life, and are very popular.

Wanting to get away from the bonds of life, Kamiya built his workshop in the forests of Chiba and surrounded himself with nature so that he could work in peace. He still has strong feelings towards his birthplace of Mashiko.
”I think I’m involved in pottery because I was born in Mashiko. So I want to be particular about using Mashiko soil.”
”What are the features of Mashiko soil?”
”It’s not especially a good soil. It doesn’t have much plasticity or viscosity. It’s fire resistant, but the quality of clay isn’t that good. But for me, the soil is very easy to use.”

Work that can only be created in the present

”I’d like to create pieces that are recognized as work by Norio Kamiya wherever they may be.” Kamiya told us. The most difficult thing for him is to express the period, he commented.
”In the world of traditional ”kogei”, it is said that ”repetition is going backwards.” This is the most difficult. For me, I believe art has to be modern. The pieces have to be fresh and new even as time passes. If I don’t make pieces that have a freshness, it’s difficult for tradition to be carried on.”
For example, there is freshness in pottery from the Momoyama period, even now.
However, if modern day artists created the same pottery as the Momoyama period, it would not look modern.
”So, I believe we should create work that can be made only in the current period. That kind of work will resonate with people’s souls.”

Towards the end, Nakata tried making pottery with Kamiya’s guidance.
”I’ve tried ceramics several times, but if I don’t do it regularly, it’s hard for me to get the hang of it.” said Nakata. The authority on ceramics, Kamiya taught Nakata attentively.
”You have focus, so if you practice intensely for a week, you would learn the skills.” Kamiya encouraged Nakata as he struggled with Mashiko soil.

ACCESS

ceramic artist Norio Kamiya
Chiba City, Chiba
URL http://www.kamiyanorio.com/