Sunday, February 6, 2011

Tomimoto Kenkichi

Tomimoto Kenkichi (1886-1963) is celebrated as the greatest Japanese ceramic artist of the 20th century. In contrast to the popular Japanese "folk style" pottery, which is defined by it's sturdy appearance and simple decoration, Tomimoto's pottery appears delicate with ornate designs. He preferred porcelain and made use of overglaze enamels, as well as gold and silver lustre.

Tomimoto's philosophy was, "Produce large quantities of inexpensive vessels that have been designed by a true artist and manufactured in a coordinated, well-organized pottery, in order that every kind of person, in every kind of house can use it; inexpensive pottery that anybody can buy and that nobody can afford to be without." This philosophy is carried on by the great American potter, Warren MacKenzie.

Tomimoto founded the ceramics department at the Kyoto Municipal College of Fine Arts, and his legacy continues in the work of the countless potters who studied under him.