About Our Japanese Ceramics

We are pleased to offer stunning Japanese ceramics by Sato Yasumasa. Sato-san has his kiln in Kasama -  a small town in Ibaraki prefecture which is having a growing impact on modern Japanese ceramics.

You can browse images of Sato-san's work in our Ceramics Gallery and you can buy them in our Online Ceramics Shop.

About Sato Yasumasa

  Sato-san initially intended to work in wood rather than ceramics. Having visited his studio and house, which he built in large part by himself using wood, we have no doubt that he would have been successful with such a venture. As it turned out woodcraft was to lose out to pottery. Sato-san's artistic path took him not only away from woodcraft but also away from Japan too! Sato-san went to the USA where he studied ceramic sculpture from 1978-1980.

In the years since then Sato-san has successfully exhibited in Tokyo and other places around Japan. Sato-san often works with clay rich in iron and rough in texture.

For some pieces "porcelain" is incorporated. Sato-san has expressed his amazement at "the mysterious power of porcelain's white colour". That being said, by the time the piece is finished it isn't immediately recognizable as a porcelain piece and it isn't necessarily quite as white as we are accustomed to seeing. There is none of the gleaming white, super smooth, every piece looks the same, mass produced factory feel about Sato-san's work. There It is, however, something recognizably Sato-ish about his porcelain pieces.

Sato-san is always keen to “let the clay speak”. In practice this can mean that an object is designed to highlight interesting splits and breaks that develop naturally in a slab of clay as he works it. These unique features develop further in the kiln as the object is fired.

  Photo: detail from a porcelain piece showing how splitting of the clay makes a stunning feature

Sato-san also makes objects with a “Yakishime” finish. To achieve this, items are placed at the mouth of the kiln where they will be close to the burning wood. As this space is limited only a small number of items can achieve a Yakishime finish. Furthermore there is always the possibility that the items will deform unacceptably in the kiln and end up fusing together in the intense heat. Sato-san is prepared to take these risks for the chance of obtaining the dramatic variations in texture and colour that can be achieved.  

     Photo: Big vase, small cat. Cat not for sale. Vase for sale in our Online Shop

Sato-san's typical work has a weathered, aged, look about it. Peaceful and "still like a great mountain". Yet dynamic, vital, exciting to gaze at, and very tactile. This expert combination of yin and yang aspects gives Sato-san's work balance and a very natural comforting feeling.

  We hope you enjoy looking at our selection of Sato-san's work.