Reiwa pt8: Mihara Ken, Ceramist

Serene, austere and endlessly beautiful all at once, Mihara Ken´s high-fired stoneware works are equally sought-after by collectors, galleries and museums.

mihara-ken-japanese-ceramics-sculpture11
Serene, austere and endlessly beautiful all at once, Mihara Ken´s high-fired stoneware works are equally sought-after by collectors, galleries and museums.

Mihara Ken is now one of the most sought-after Japanese ceramists. There´s a long waiting list for his serene, zen-like stoneware in the ancient japanese style called Sekki. Sekki refers to yakishime, meaning high-fired unglazed pottery made of clay containing high iron content. It´s the iron content that creates the different colors in the finished work, impossible to wield or control.

mihara-ken-japanese-ceramics-sculpture17
mihara-ken-japanese-ceramics-sculpture16

Mihara Ken comes from Izumo, Japan. It´s a region rich with mythology and the heritage of millennia-old japanese legends. The natural shapes of Mihara Ken´s pottery were born through multiple and extremely difficult firings, with each firing revealing a new element to a work’s clay. The shapes and warm clay tones of his pottery echoes the essence of Japanese culture, that has traditionally searched for beauty within wabi-sabi austerity, simplicity, and materials with patina.“When I begin making a work, I picture some shape in my head. However, once I actually start, the shape keeps changing. I consider it my job to help the clay express its beauty. Clay leads, and my hands follow. I do not know what shape my work is going to end up even while I am making it”, Mihara Ken has said about his work.

mihara-ken-japanese-ceramics-sculpture2

I consider it my job to help the clay express its beauty. Clay leads, and my hands follow.

Mihara Ken
mihara-ken-japanese-ceramics-sculpture7
mihara-ken-japanese-ceramics-sculpture3
mihara-ken-japanese-ceramics-sculpture8