“I would like to introduce my artwork to both inside and outside of Japan. There are many variations of color or styles in Japanese pottery. My products are not specifically following any of them but are the result of my own style based on traditional Japanese pottery techniques." Ken Sakaguchi 


S.E.A Recently interviewed Ceramicist Artis Ken Sakaguchi about his practices and methods.

Question:  Did anyone inspire you to become an artist?

Ken Sakaguchi:  “There are some potters who have influenced me ... "Shoji Kamoda" The retrospective exhibition I saw at Tokyo Station Gallery in September 2005 was wonderfully moving and exciting.  He is a writer who has been seen in books and  catalogs over and over again.”

Question:  How long does it take you to make your work?

Ken Sakaguchi:  “If the work is a sake bottle, you can make 6 or 7 potter's wheels a day and shaping it to finish the pattern.  I made a lot of the works, put them in a kiln, baked them at 1,472 degrees Fahrenheit (800 degrees Celsius) unglazed, then I glaze them, and baked them again at about 2,246 degrees Fahrenheit (1,230 degrees Celsius).  I don't know how long it will take for one, but it will take a couple of months to complete.”

Question:  What kind of clay materials do you use?

Ken Sakaguchi:  “The soil is mainly red soil containing iron.  You can mix commercially available soil with the excavated soil.  The red clay is coated with white clay to carve patterns and draw pictures.”

Question:  What type of sculpting tools do you use?

Ken Sakaguchi:  “When making a simple shape with a potter's wheel and carving a pattern, the tools are finished with only bamboo skewers, needles and a small canna.”

Question:  Do you sketch your ideas before throwing clay?

Ken akaguchi:  “I don't make sketches.  While touching the clay, the image you want to make will boil and inflate, and you can make it freely.  I am conscious of making it without thinking as much as possible.”

Question:  Are some of your methods and tools OLD and TRADITIONAL????

Ken Sakaguchi:  “I like old works, old pottery, and antiques, so I look at the works in museums and books and try to express my favorite parts and atmosphere of the old works. I hope it will be mixed without any strangeness.  A work that feels nostalgic but modern.”

Question:  Are some of your methods tools NEW and CONTEMPORARY?

Ken akaguchi:  “I try not to be conscious of newness and contemporary art.  It feels strange to create something that you have never seen in the extreme, conscious of novelty and new things.  It's so comfortable to learn from the old ones and wish that the feeling of being alive now naturally appears in the work.”
Question:  What temperature do you fire to?
Ken Sakaguchi:  “The baking temperature is around 1230 degrees.  I am using a kerosene kiln.”

Question:  Does your work represent any particular region or time in Japanese geography and history?  

Ken Sakaguchi:  “The modeling, freedom of painting, and balance of Oribe ware that appeared in the Momoyama period.”
Question:  Are your ceramics suitable to drink from?

Ken Sakaguchi:  “Of course, I want you to actually use it.  You can also use it when drinking.  One of the reasons I chose the ceramic art path was that I liked the familiar art that I could actually use in my life.”
Question:  Do the objects as designed get too hot to hold for drinking hot liquid?

Ken Sakaguchi:  “Of course, it's okay to put hot and cold things that you normally use.”

Question:  How are your ceramics different from other artists' ceramics?

Ken Sakaguchi:  “I think the feature is the originality of the pattern.  At first glance, it looks like a traditional pattern, but humorous, mischievous motifs are drawn.  By deepening the carving, the glaze with a lot of ash components collects in the groove and flows, and the pattern and glaze make it look like a living work with a fresh movement. And I think you are.”


Question:  Do you drink coffee or tea during your workday?

Ken Sakaguchi:  “I drink coffee during work.  With the work I made!”

July 2021