Ryota Aoki, bringing ceramics to a deep and wide audience.

Ryota Aoki, bringing ceramics to a deep and wide audience.

There is a man in Toki City, Gifu Prefecture, who seriously wants to surpass Wedgwood, a British ceramics manufacturer with a history of more than 260 years and the world’s largest production volume. He is the ceramic artist Ryota Aoki. He is a “pottery geek” by his own admission and by others. He wears a turban on his head and gold sneakers on his feet. The background music in his studio is either blaring hip-hop or the beautiful music of Debussy. While his style is not that of a potter, he is definitely the one who creates more works than anyone else, and continues to research more than anyone else. In order to create colors that no one has ever seen before, he continues to experiment with about 15,000 glazes per year, and before he knows it, 20 years have passed. In the process, he has used materials such as gold, silver, platinum, and even Swarovski, which have never been used in ceramics due to their difficulty in handling, to create Mino ware for the 21st century.

One of his masterpieces is the golden “King’s Wine Glass. After many years of research, he has completed the world’s first wineglass, which had been considered impossible in the world of ceramics, where the finished product is not known until it is fired. Wineglasses are originally from a foreign culture. Aoki says that it is meaningful that a Japanese person has perfected it in ceramics. Aoki says that it is significant that a Japanese person has perfected the art of making wineglasses in ceramic, and that there is no other potter on earth who can consistently produce ceramic wineglasses. He also succeeded in developing a crimson glaze called “RED,” which had been considered too costly and technically difficult to produce. He has formulated an infinite number of glaze formulas and continues to push forward in a field of research that no one else can follow.

More than delving deeply into ceramics, Mr. Aoki is focusing on promoting the Japanese ceramic art itself. He wants people around the world to pick up his pottery and use it, and to appreciate the excellence of Japanese ceramics. He also wants to leave them as good things to be handed down from parents’ generation to children’s generation. In order to achieve this, he thought it was important for people of all generations to be exposed to ceramic art.
That is why he has created works in various genres and has prepared many points of contact with ceramic art. From contemporary art pieces to avant-garde items, everyday use vessels, and even “messenger” items, he uses ceramics to speak to a wide range of people of all ages. In addition to his online store and art gallery, he has also opened a store at the Toki Premium Outlets outlet mall. Toki Premium Outlets is actually the most crowded place in Gifu Prefecture. I wanted to put a store where people can easily buy Mino ware there because it attracts an unspecified large number of people of all ages who are not interested in ceramics. He thinks that it is his mission to have more people of all generations come into contact with and know about ceramics.

In the world of ceramics, where it is commonplace to be unable to realize the shapes and colors one envisions, Aoki has faced the clay more than anyone else and listened to its voice. He says, “Even now, I enjoy touching the clay the most, and I never get tired of the interesting things that come out differently from what I expected. In the end, I just want to keep doing what I love and have been working hard to do it”. More than Aoki’s words, his vessels speak eloquently of the appeal of ceramics.


2190-3, Tsumaki, Toki-shi, Gifu
TEL 090-9945-1393
URL https://www.ryotaaoki.com/