Vol.14. Ai Torii

Vol.14. Ai Torii

Date: March 27, 2023

In the heart of Kyoto, a city steeped in history and culture, we found ourselves at the doorstep of Ai Torii's new studio. Surrounded by historic temples, including the iconic Ginkakuji, the studio is a testament to the city's rich artistic heritage.

Ai Torii, a name synonymous with innovative pottery, welcomed us into her creative sanctuary. Her journey as an artist is as unique as her creations. Initially a sculpture student in university, Torii found her true calling in pottery, a shift that has since defined her artistic career.

As we walked through her studio, we were captivated by the array of her new pieces. Large plates, intricately designed, stood alongside delicate soup cups, each piece a reflection of Torii's artistic evolution. The transformation from sculpture to pottery was evident in her work, with the three-dimensional aspect of sculpture subtly influencing the depth and form of her pottery.

One of the most fascinating aspects of our visit was when Torii showed us the shells she uses to make an iconic stamp on the bottom of her pieces. This unique signature, a stamp imprinted with a shell, adds a touch of nature to her work and serves as a constant reminder of her connection to the natural world. It's a small detail that speaks volumes about her artistic philosophy and her respect for the environment.

Torii's work is a beautiful blend of tradition and innovation. Her pottery, while deeply rooted in the traditional techniques she has mastered, is also a canvas for her creative explorations. The large plates, with their intricate designs, are a testament to her attention to detail and her ability to transform a simple piece of clay into a work of art. The soup cups, on the other hand, showcase her ability to infuse functionality with aesthetics, creating pieces that are as practical as they are beautiful.

Our visit to Ai Torii's studio was a journey into the world of an artist who has seamlessly bridged the gap between two distinct art forms. It was a testament to her artistic versatility and her ability to adapt and evolve. As we left her studio, we carried with us the memory of her stunning pottery, a reflection of her journey from sculpting statues to shaping clay, and a reminder of the endless possibilities that lie within the realm of art. The image of the shell stamp, a small yet significant detail, will forever be etched in our minds as a symbol of Torii's unique artistic signature.

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