wish to push beyond the traditional
parameters of pottery."
ARTIST STATEMENT AND BIOGRAPHY ........
“When the sun rises and sets, I look up to the beautiful sky which is constantly changing its own beauty. I forget who I am and my heart fills with warmth and happiness. I have been a ceramicist for over 25 years. In the journey of searching for true beauty, I try to focus on the object with a free and peaceful mind that will remove the attachment of thought. It seems to make my heart open. My studio near the sea has become one of my important places to produce happiness and love. It will be my joy if I can share this happiness with you.
I have been a ceramicist for over 25 years. I have worked
in a traditional pottery studio in Japan, with the Acoma Indians
in New Mexico, with Marta Ortis in Mexico and with J.T. Abernathy
in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I have been creating clay works for many
years and they have slowly developed toward a distinctive non-functional
My work has been greatly influenced by traveling, visiting
and working with many artists and cultures, which was my sole intent
when I first left Japan and arrived in North America more than twenty
years ago. Nature and natural phenomena continue to inspire my work,
and I can only work with clay when my mind and ego are at peace.
This perpetuates a free form in my clay work and unites my body
and soul with the clay. Like other manifestations of Zen philosophy,
my work is "perfectly imperfect," as are we all. My ultimate
endeavor is to convey my inner peace and alliance with Nature and
to share this phenomenon. I wish to further explore my current body
of work and move slowly toward a larger and more sculptural scale
incorporating mixed-media materials and processes.
I fire earthenware, porcelain and stoneware. An initial bisque
fire precedes subsequent firing techniques. I then incorporate the
following techniques: glaze fire, pit fire, sagger fire, salt fire
and/or wood fire. I sometimes embellish my fired forms with oil
and acrylic paints, my clay forms are primarily non-functional and
sculpturally oriented though I do produce functional pieces as well."
- Yasuko Nakamura
TECHNIQUES AND TERMS
YASUKO NAKAMURA kiln fires her ceramic sculpture using one or more
firing techniques as well as incorporating black slip glazing when
appropriate to the work.
Bisque Fire The firing
or subsequent hardening of clay prior to glazing or other secondary
processes. This process is mandatory to preserve the clay form.
Sagger Fire The firing
of clay inside a specifically fabricated kiln container with sawdust
and salt at high temperatures.
Wood Fire The firing of
clay with wood.
Salt Fire The firing of
clay at high temperatures in which salt is thrown into the kiln
late in the firing. This process specifically effects the surface
glaze of the clay.
Pit Fire The firing of
clay in a shallow earth pit. The clay is covered with sawdust and
wood chips and slow fired.
Glaze Fire The firing of
clay employing chemical glazes to achieve various colors on the
Raku Fire The firing of
clay at a low temperature resulting in beautiful but non-permanent
Black Slip This technique
incorporates two separate high-fire processes following the throwing,
carving and green-ware drying time of each piece. The black slip
is a liquified clay mixture that is applied to the carved clay vessel
and fired at approximately 2700 degrees Fahrenheit. Then the ash
(ochre) glaze is applied within the carved areas of each piece and
the piece is high-fired again. The two firing processes alone require
three to four days.
BFA, English and American Literature. Doshisha Women's College,
Kyoto, Japan. 1970-1974
Yoshiki Iuchi, Master Ceramicist, Yowakobo Pottery Studio/Workshop,
Kochi, Japan. Studies incorporated hand building and throwing traditional
Japanese shapes on wooden kick wheels, constructing wooden and metal
ceramic tools, and processing local clay from surrounding rice paddies.
Worked and fired with a five-chambered kiln, a wood-fired climbing
kiln (Naborigama), a wood-fired salt kiln, and aided with the construction
of an Anagama (original Korean traditional kiln). 1977-1982
Mexican and American Indian Pottery at the University of Southern
California Idyllwild Campus (Palm Springs, California) via the scholarship
recommendation from Susan Peterson. 1982
Emma Louis, Master Potter, Acoma Indian Reservation, New Mexico.
Studied Acoma Indian traditional hand built pinch-pot technique,
yucca brush painting on clay and cow manure chip pit-firing technique.
Juan Quesada, Master Potter (Marta Ortiz, Mexico). Studied hand-built
Mexican pottery and the use of human hair brushes applying natural
red and yellow slips. 1983
J. T. Abernathy, Master Ceramicist, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Studied the production of clays and glazes incorporating intense
ceramic techniques associated with firing of gas, salt and sawdust
2000 -2009 Galleria Silecchia, Sarasota, Florida, USA
1999 Tallahassee Museum of Art, Tallahassee, Florida, USA
1999 Salt Creek Artworks, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
1999 Galleria Silecchia, Sarasota, Florida, USA
1998 The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Fine Art, Sarasota, Florida,
1998 Galleria Silecchia, Sarasota, Florida, USA
1998 Salt Creek Artworks, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
1997 Eckerd College, Sarasota, Florida, USA
1997 Vincent William Gallery, Pasadena, Florida, USA
1997 Florida Craftsmen, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
1997 Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, Florida, USA
1996 Galleria Silecchia, Sarasota, Florida, USA
1996 Salt Creek Artworks, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
1996 Kentucky Museum, Alabama, USA
1996 Atlanta Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
1995 St.Petersburg Museum of Fine Art, St. Petersburg, Florida,
1992 Daimuru Art Gallery, Kochi, Japan
1987 American Craft Council Show, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
1986 Ann Arbor Art Association, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
1982 Daimuru Art Gallery, Kochi, Japan
AWARDS & HONORS
1998 Honorable Mention, State of Florida Artist Fellowship Program,
1996 Selected for Spotlight '95 National American Crafts Council
Touring Show, USA
1996 Best of Ceramics, All-Florida Juried Show, Center for the Arts,
1995 Selected for Spotlight '95 National American Crafts Council
Touring Show, USA
1990 The Best of Ceramics, Crosby Garden, Toledo, Ohio, USA
1990 Best of Show, Mainsail Arts Festival, Coco Beach, Florida,
1990 Purchase Award, Coconut Grove Art Festival, Miami, Florida,
1989 Award of Excellence, North Shore Art League, Winnetka, Illinois,
1989 Merit Award, Michigan Guild Christmas Fair, Ann Arbor, Michigan,
1989 Judges Award, Great Gulf Coast Arts Festival, Pensacola, Florida,
1989 The Claire Paul Purchase Award, Miami Beach, Florida, USA
1989 Invitee, Festival of the Masters, Walt Disney Corp., Orlando,
1989 Merit Award, Coco Beach Arts festival, Coco Beach, Florida,
1989 The Best of Ceramics, Crosby Garden, Toledo, Ohio, USA
1988 The Best of Ceramics, Beaux Art Fair, Miami, Florida, USA
Purchase Award: East Lansing Art Fair, East Lansing, Michigan, USA
1988 Merit Award, Michigan Guild Christmas Fair, Ann Arbor, Michigan,
Judges Award, Great Gulf Coast Arts Festival, Pensacola, Florida,
1987 First Prize, Michigan Guild Christmas Fair, Ann Arbor, Michigan,
1986 Award of Excellence, North Shore Art League, Winnetka, Illinois,
1986 Selected Poster Artist: ACC Lincoln Center, New York, New York,
1981 Third Prize, Kochi Prefecture Annual Juried Show, Kochi, Japan
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