Large bowl, iron rust glaze, iron overglaze brush circular patterns
Hamada Shōji 1894-1978
Hamada Shōji was one of the most influential figures on the studio pottery of 20th century. He studied ceramics under Itaya Hazan in Tokyo. In Kyoto he studied and worked together with Kawai Kanjirō, experimenting on glazes. Hamada met Bernard Leach in Tokyo who became his lifelong friend and mentor. He accompanied Leach to England to help him set up the Leach pottery in St Ives in 1920. After 3 years’ stay i n St Ives, he returned to Japan to establish his workshop in Mashiko. Being a major advocator of the Mingei Folk Crafts movement , the aesthetic philosophy of Mingei ran throughout his prolific career , focusing on making utilitarian pots using local materials and traditional techniques, working naturally and allowing the work come from within spontaneously. His pots are often decorated with simple but lively motifs executed in a dynamic creative energy. In 1955 he was designated a Living National Treasure, the first time for a potter.