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“In Search of Shibui”

‘Shibui’, a profound, quiet feeling suggesting depth, simplicity, and purity. There is no exact English counterpart for the word. Nearest to it are ‘austere’, ‘subdued’, and ‘restrained.’ To the Japanese, ‘shibui’ describes the beauty of inner illumination.

It is this inner essence that I seek in my pottery, a process of the soul rather than a project for the intellect. It is the beauty that the viewer himself draws out of the piece more than an aesthetic imposed by the creator.

BIOGRAPHY

Started making pottery in 1959 at U.C. Santa Barbara. Graduated in 1963 and taught pottery from 1965-1968. Went to Japan in 1969 to study Buddhism and pottery. Studied at a pottery co-operative under Azuma, Ken sensei from 1970-1972. Returned to the United States and set up a studio in Carmel Valley, CA in 1974. Moved to Elkton, OR in 1981 and set up present studio. Built a two chambered woodfire kiln and christened it “Hikarigama” (the illuminated kiln). Still seeking to make “the pot” as I continue to experiment and explore the wonderful world of ceramics.

Hiroshi OGAWA

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