Friday 7 May 2021

The Stratford Gallery, spring 2021

Another visit to the Stratford Gallery to view their spring collection. Even though they have specialised in Japanese ceramics for a while now, their collection has grown considerably and the attic floor must have at least 800 pieces.

Inhwa Lee - Material Moments:

I loved these. Lee's porcelain sets draw from the appearance of traditional Korean ceramics.  She works with a blend of opaque and translucent clay and porcelain to create hand-thrown cylindrical vessels with a marbled appearance. Once the clay is dry, she works the interior and exterior of each piece to render the walls so fine that light can pass through them. In creating delicate clay vessels that resemble marbled paper and appear to glow within, she pushes her material to its limit and displays its inherent elegance.


The Japanese collection:

I got a bit overwhelmed by the sheer number of vessels and ended up photographing very few. But, it's an incredible collection.

Kiyoshi Yamato, White Hagi Incense Burner, (Hagi clay body)

Hiroshi Yamada, Ebi (wild grape( Shino Chawan, (Echizen hand dug clay body, gas fired with Feidspar Orita details)

Takashi Tanimoto, Iga Chawan, (Iga clay body, Feidspar, natural ash glaze, oil and wood fired)

Robert Fornell, Oribe chawan, Hididashi method, (kick wheel thrown)

Robert Fornell, hand formed Tangu chawan, (stoneware)

Eddie Curtis, Celadon Cha-Ire, (stoneware)

Eddie Curtis, Container (porcelain, celadon, copper red oxides)

Eddie Curtis, Mizusashi, (stoneware, celadon, copper red oxides)

Akira Satake, Yakishime Chawan, (wood fired stoneware)

Robert Fornell, Black, White and Silver Kurinuki Guinomi, (stoneware)

Mitch Iburg, Sake Set, Tokkuri and 2 Guinomis, (Virginia and Minnesota kaolinitic clays, crushed rhyolite and granite, 4 day anagama firing)

Sasha Wardell:

Wide Oval Galaxy Bowl, (bone china)

Aaron Scythe:

I wasn't that keen on Scythe's work at first, but it's growing on me.

Scythe trained in New Zealand where he developed an interest in Momoyama pots. In 1993 he began investigating Shino glazes. In 1995, he travelled to Japan to study the Minoyaki style of pottery. From 1997 until 2011 he was based in Mashiko, Japan, where he developed Oribe and Kizeto ware, and began making porcelain work. Due to the Fukushima meltdown in 2011, Scythe and his family relocated to New Zealand. Recently he started exploring English slipware methods.

His current yobitisugi (or borrowed-patches process) alighs with the contemporary Japanese Basara style, which is a take on the wabi-sabi philosopy of the 16th century Momoyama period. The effect is a harmonious floating patchwork of clays that frame traditional and contemporary drawings deftly painted in cobalt or enamel. By piecing porcelain and stoneware shard shapes together when the clay is still very soft, he utilizes the sentiment and beauty of kintsugi, the Japanese art of repair, but with mismatched clays that graciously adapt to each other. The result of mysterious narratives consisting of landscapes, body parts, patterns or elusive writing.


Large Dish

Wide Mug with Cut Foot


Shallow Bowl

Winter Teabowl - Chawan

Tall Footed Mug

And a painting by Kerry Harding:

There She is (oil on canvas)


  1. Just popping in to say THANK YOU for consistently turning me on to new artists! I've followed your blog for a few years now and you never disappoint. Thanks!

    1. Rachel, your comment cheered me up - thank you so much.

      I have missed going to art galleries in the last year or so, and it's been one of the things I have found very difficult during this pandemic. So, it was a real bonus being able to visit the Stratford gallery, and I hope to be able to visit some more private galleries in the next few weeks.

      All the best, Eirene