A Journey of Clay and Culture: Discovering Azu Aoyagi's Pottery in Zushi, Kanagawa

A Journey of Clay and Culture: Discovering Azu Aoyagi's Pottery in Zushi, Kanagawa



In the charming coastal town of Zushi in Kanagawa, we had the delightful opportunity to meet Azu Aoyagi, a pottery artist with a unique international flair. Aoyagi-san's journey in pottery began far from the shores of Japan, in Germany, where her quest for the perfect plate to complement Japanese cuisine ignited a passion for pottery-making.


Her studio in Zushi is a tranquil space, reflecting both her German upbringing and deep Japanese roots. Each corner of the studio tells a story of her journey, where East meets West in the form of beautifully crafted pottery.


Azu Aoyagi's approach to pottery is deeply personal and reflective of her multicultural experiences. Growing up in Germany, she found herself at a crossroads of cultures, struggling to find dinnerware that resonated with the aesthetic of Japanese cuisine. This challenge became her inspiration, leading her to explore the art of pottery-making. Her work is not just about creating functional items; it's a blend of her life experiences, molded and fired into each piece.


In her Zushi studio, Aoyagi-san nurtures not only clay but also the budding talents of her students. She conducts intimate pottery classes, passing on her skills and passion to small groups who share her enthusiasm for the craft. For Aoyagi-san, teaching is not just about techniques; it's about sharing a piece of her journey and inspiring others with her love for pottery.


What sets Azu Aoyagi's pottery apart is her expertise in glazes, especially her fondness for American glazes. Her extensive knowledge of glazes from around the world allows her to imbue her pieces with a unique character, blending international influences with traditional Japanese pottery techniques. The use of American glazes brings a distinct vibrancy to her work, making each piece a celebration of global artistry.