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Tsuzuki Akira: Make Crockery with Respect for Food

Some people are destined to become craftsmen. Tsuzuki Akira is one of them. Born in a pottery family in Sendai, he’s been interested in handwork since he was a child. After finishing college in Yamagata Prefecture, he went to the popular pottery town of Hasami, Nagasaki Prefecture, where he is now engaged in crockery design and making. His goal is to make crockery with respect for food.

Tsuzuki uses kerosene kiln for firing, which is not as steady as an electric or gas one. With kerosene kiln, you won’t know what the clay will be turned into until the kiln is opened. That unknown-ness is what captivates him.

Tsuzuki’s studio. Located in Hasami, Nagasaki Prefecture.

The exterior of the studio. The lower parts of the walls are decorated with plates of different sizes made by his fathers.

The studio, where Tsuzuki creates, is small but organized.

This corner of the studio is home to molds and semi-finished products.

Tsuzuki has no special requirements for the origins of raw materials. For him, it is fun to hunt for, though difficult to find, the raw materials that show the desired color and texture.

Tsuzuki starts a new style by seeking and making new tools, such as the trowel in his right hand, and the tool he whittled from wood in his left hand. See the picture above. What can’t be done by hand can be done with such homemade tools.

Stable glazes are, in his eyes, boring glazes. In the hope of producing glazes with a certain change in stability, he makes up glazes himself and records all the formulas.

Tsuzuki has been working on black pottery recently.

A set of chopstick rests that look a bit like cookies and can be fitted together. Tsuzuki cut their surfaces unevenly by hand after cutting them out with a metal mold. As pottery shrinks 20% in firing, it was difficult for him to accurately size the rests for the box.

About two years ago, Tsuzuki picked up silver glazing. An instance is the object shown above, whose silver color will change with oxidation in use, which Tsuzuki likes very much.

Pottery made by Tsuzuki.

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