Journey I: First Studio Visit - Shintaro Abe in Kasama

In November 2018, I went to Japan for 3 weeks to visit each of the Japanese artisans whose works I am particularly interested in. My trip started from Kasama city in Ibaraki Prefecture, where has long history and strong culture of ceramics. Many famous contemporary ceramic artists are based in this prefecture. Most of them own their kilns in their studios. And, their studios are one-man studio - i.e. every piece of works is hand made from design sketches to final products only by the artist himself/herself. This shows how passionate and respectful the artists are towards the creations.

The first studio visit in this trip was Shintaro Abe-san’s studio in Kasama city. It was a 2.5 hours journey by Shinkansen (aka bullet train) from Tokyo. Abe-san was so kind to pick me up from his nearest Train station. It was a short drive to his studio. When we arrived, Abe-san told me that he is living at the front of the house and his studio is built at the back. It’s located in a small village where I couldn't see other houses or people nearby. I could imagine why every artist needs a quiet and calming place to create their art pieces.

A quiet corner in Abe-san’s studio

A quiet corner in Abe-san’s studio

A huge gas kiln which can fire more than 100 plates every time

A huge gas kiln which can fire more than 100 plates every time

Signature motif designs

Signature motif designs

New creation - hand drawn lemon motifs

New creation - hand drawn lemon motifs

Shelves filled with motif plates

Shelves filled with motif plates

Shintaro Abe-san

Shintaro Abe-san