Back Home with 2 Shoji’s (Hamada and Satake)

Just returned from my workshop at Western Michigan University.  I had wonderful time in Kalamazoo with the students and faculty…thank you WMU for being such generous hosts!!!  While I was there, I had a chance to visit with my good friend, Shay Church and meet his beautiful family.  If you are unfamiliar with Shay’s work, he creates large scale ceramic sculpture that deals with the rhythms of our environment.  Click on the photo of him below to link to his website.  Here is an excerpt from his artist statement:

Shay Church

“I believe in the natural cycles of the earth. Within these patterns of life and death is where I can find truth. While cities grow, wars rage, and industry climbs, nature’s pulse continues to pound. Migratory paths remain, rivers continue to run downstream, wolves hunt, and insects are hatched…My artwork is an attempt to create a meaningful connection between the natural world and myself. Often this connection seems fleeting. It is based on observation and the physical act of working with material such as clay and wood. This physical relationship allows me to explore my spiritual, emotional and psychological concerns for the human experience.”

from left: Yanagi, Leach and Hamada, circa 1952

While at WMU, Ed Harkness and Paul Flickinger reminded me of the video The Art of Potter: Hamada & Leach.  It’s a lovely video showcasing the work of Shoji Hamada and Bernard Leach…ahhh nostalgia!  It’s always invigorating to revisit the history that you’re a part of.  If you’d like to link to the video, click here.

As always, enjoy!


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