TOUCH FIRE… Japanese Women Ceramics

I also went to the Touch Fire exhibit at Smith College.   It was great to see contemporary Japanese women’s ceramics.  Like Mike said it’s a don’t miss.  There was some really funky stuff.  The woven (paper clay?) wall hangings were gorgeous.  My main problem with the whole show was that there was only one tea bowl.  It was definitely exclusive of functional, contemporary ceramics… a bit of an injustice to the rich history in functional ceramics of Japan. 

Lucy Fagella

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3 Responses to “TOUCH FIRE… Japanese Women Ceramics”


  1. 1 Lucien October 23, 2009 at 8:33 PM

    I attending the opening of this exhibition and was very impressed. My knowledge of contemporay Japanese ceramics is shallow and tends to be centered around tea vessels and those using the kurinuki process. However, one impression I had, atleast of my opinion, was the correlation of subject matter by those of an older generation versus those younger. It is certainly a grand opportunity to see a fine collection of work right in our own back yard.

  2. 2 angela fina November 12, 2009 at 3:26 PM

    Why there are only a few, very non-traditional, teabowls in the show:
    These Japanese women ceramicists were excluded from the traditional male system of apprenticeship and of learning to carry on ancient tradition. Women have always worked in traditional pottery families, but not as potters or firers. They dug and wedged clay, carried boards, cleaned, and served the men. They never made pots. Instead, these contemporary ceramic artists learned their ceramic art and craft in academia the way most American ceramicists do. Several of them studied at American Universities and Art Schools. They don’t make teabowls in wood kilns because they are totally outside that continuum. Several of them are also academics teaching in University Art Departments.


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