Kodai

In 2017 I followed an exchange program for 6 months at the Ceramic University of Arita, Japan. Arita is a small town in the southern island of Japan, 400 years ago this was the discovery place of Japanese porcelain. Since this time the knowledge about porcelain kept growing and the whole economy of the town is built around it. You can find all the steps in the process of porcelain in Arita, from the stone quarry, to the clay manufactures, to the product production companies to the distribution. The high level of craftsman established in Arita is very special and is becoming rare in modern day society. I became fascinated by the sensibility for material and obsession for perfection that you can find in this town. In the program I learned about porcelain production techniques in an industrial and traditional way, visited the factories and the local craftsmen and translated this knowledge into a set of tableware. 

 

For this project I researched traditional Japanese tableware and eating culture. The thing that interested me the most was the fact that the dishes are always on a foot, making it look like they are floating on the table. The dishes look like they are presented on a platform. The aim was to translate the traditional shapes of Japanese table ware in a contemporary style and express the pure white colour of the Arita porcelain. A lot of attention went into the detailing and surface finish. The outside shape is contrasting to the inside shape, who is rounded. The whole piece has a transparent glossy glaze but the outside is sandblasted for a matt textured effect, which makes the inner surface and outer surface contrasting again. Subtile effects like the shiny signature on the matt surface are crucial to this project.