Ken Matsuzaki FROM - 3 Mar 2018

Ken Matsuzaki – Master Japanese Studio Potter

Ken Matsuzaki was born in 1950 in Tokyo. After graduating from Tamagawa University he began a 3-year apprenticeship with (National Living Treasure) Tatsuzo Shimaoka (himself a former apprentice of National Living Treasure Shoji Hamada). Nearing the end of his apprenticeship Matsuzaki sought to extend it for another two years.

It was during these last two years that Matsuzaki was able to to do what Bernard Leach said all potters must do – quoting William Blake… ‘to drive our wagons over the bones of the dead. In other words, Matsuzaki found is own way and his own voice, developing his own motifs and palette of glazes; ones that he would use for the next 15 years.

Matsuzaki is concerned first and foremost with beauty. He sees his role as a potter to make works that satisfy the eye first and the hand second. If a tea bowl functions as a tea bowl…if it meets all the exacting aesthetic and tactile requirements of the tea master…that’s important but the bowl is also a stand-alone object that should work as a visual composition and should be appreciated as a ceramic art work by its owner without function in mind.

Matsuzaki is a world-renowned potter whose work is held in major collections across the globe and his pedigree is irrefutable. As leading British studio potter, Phil Rogers once wrote: ‘Matsuzaki’s lineage is as straight forward as the road that takes you to his home – from Hamada Shoji via Shimaoka Tatsuzo.”

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