Sunday, August 2, 2009

A day with Takeshi

Yesterday I had the good fortune of spending the day with Takeshi Yasuda. For those who may not know, Takeshi is something of a rock star in ceramic realms - definitely a 'potters' potter.'

Unfortunately his workshop at RMIT was overbooked, so there weren't enough wheels for all participants and the hands-on aspect of the day was canceled.

This was really very disappointing - I would love to throw side by side with Takeshi - but then it would have been awful to deny anyone an opportunity to spend some time in his presence.

Spending time with Takeshi was what it was all about. He showed some slides, he demonstrated some techniques and he spoke about clay but the real value lay in simply listening to his stories. Be they about making coffee, cooking cod, exhibiting work or riding a bike, his tales encapsulate his philosophy of life - one of fascination, exploration and enjoyment.

As he said with his wry smile
"No matter what I am talking about, it is always about pots."

As with his approach to life, Takeshi's approach to clay is gentle, quiet and considered. Watching him throw is mesmerizing. He appears to have no desire to control the clay, simply dance with it and coax it into expressive, fluid undulations and marks. His pots speak volumes. They are really are "more than beautiful".

I feel honoured to have spent a day with Takeshi.


Ron said...

Beautiful. I'd love to see him work.

Elk said...

how beautiful is that last pot with the way it is so naturally accidental. It reminds me of a small wave hitting the beach – the breath of the tide

littlemokuyoubi said...

Wahou! How lucky you are !!

Shannon Garson said...

Oh you are so lucky. I loved Takeshi's talk at the Triennale. I could listen to his stories forever, I especially love how no matter where they meander to they always come back to clay.

Anonymous said...

"No matter what I am talking about, it is always about pots." I can relate!
Thanks for posting me this link. It is so nice to see some in action photos. There is always such a leap from the wet pot to the finished one and I of course find myself drooling over the unfinished and lush fresh ones. There is so much variety in how people touch clay. I had wondered if Takeshi muscled the clay into form or gently willed it. Having never met him and just by looking at his undulating delicate forms it could have gone either way. Interesting how one's approach to even touching clay is so alined with one's personality!