Potter Yuichiro Suzuki creates ceramicware at the studio he shares with his wife Satoko Suzuki. Their studio is called Inima Tobo and they have been there since 1999. While the couple both trained in ceramics at Shigaraki, one of Japan’s six ancient kilns, they have own different pottery styles.
Yuichiro Suzuki creates a modern design in subtle color. He pursues unique color and texture. He tests a variety of glazes. He mainly uses his original blend glazes. He also tests different ways of concentrating glazes, pouring them, and different firing temperatures.
He uses white clay from Seto region in Aichi. Seto ware comes from this Seto region and has over 1,000 years’ history. The white clay is hard after firing and has a texture somewhere between ceramic and porcelain. All of these come together to produce ceramicware with delicate and subtle nuances.
Yuichiro had a designer background before becoming a potter. He studied design at Tokyo University of the Arts. After graduating from the university, he worked as a designer for several years and then settled at Shigaraki in Shiga to study ceramics.
Yuichiro and his wife Satoko met in Shigaraki while they trained in ceramics there. One day they found an article in a newspaper about “Takumi no Mura” which was an arts revitalization project in Kawakami village in Yoshino, Nara. The village suffers from a depopulation problem, common in remote mountain areas in Japan. The village created a permanent resident house for artists, to encourage artists to settle down.
They know nothing about the region but instantly applied for the resident artist accommodation. They were among the first artists to move into the artist village in 1999. They have been creating ceramicware ever since.
He explained that one of his major focus is to create comfortable ceramics that are easy to use in daily life. He cares about the effect of physical shape of objects. While everyone has a different hand shape so his ceramics may not fit everyone, he works to create ceramicware that people find easy to use and comfortable to hold.
When he creates ceramics, he imagines how they will feel to use - for example, how a cup will feel when it touches someone’s lips. His passion for creating comfortable ceramics is based on his life experience. Some time ago, his wife Satoko experienced a hemiplegia, a condition where one half of her body was paralysed. The experience made him want to create comfortable ceramicware. Since they have two daughters, Yuichiro wants to make ceramicware that his children find easy to use.
The modern design and subtle color matches your daily life. But design is not only what you see, but also how you feel when you use it. The shape of his ceramicware, as well its smooth texture, is rooted in his care for others.
Each craftsman and artisans has their own theme to express in their work. Yorichiro, as a ceramic craftsman as well as a designer, said that he wants to communicate with people through the things he makes.
Their potter studio name is “Inima,” which means “people making things,” in the language of the Krenaki tribe in Brazil. They named it so because of their desire to continuously create objects.
Yuichiro explained that he also create ceramics to bring pleasure when you use them over time. It makes him feel happy when he can express this theme through his works.
One of the best things about using handmade products is that there is communication between makers and users.
Yuichiro continues to make more comfortable tableware, and to communicate with people through ceramics.
Ceramicware made by Yuichiro Suzuki is designed and crafted for daily use. It makes our dining table brighter.