Date: May 25, 2023
Our journey took us once again to the breathtaking landscapes of Aso, Kumamoto, home to the illustrious pottery studio of Futoshi Yamashita. Nestled within the largest caldera in the world, Futoshi's studio is a testament to the raw beauty of the land and the profound connection between art and nature.
As we stepped into Futoshi Yamashita's studio, we were immediately enveloped by an atmosphere that exuded creativity and reverence for the elements. Futoshi graciously showed us around, providing insights into his artistic process and revealing the most vital components of his pottery—the clay sourced from the volcanic land.
The clay Futoshi uses in his creations is not just ordinary clay; it carries the essence of Aso's volcanic heritage. This unique medium infuses his pottery with a palpable energy, grounding each piece in a deep connection to the earth. It is as if the power of the land resonates within every curve, every texture, and every glaze.
In addition to the volcanic clay, Futoshi meticulously develops his own glaze mixes using materials from Aso, including volcanic ash and ash from native plants. The resulting glazes yield captivating effects, ranging from earthy tones to vibrant hues, further enhancing the visual allure of his pottery.
Firing is a crucial step in the creation of Futoshi's pottery. He painstakingly fires each piece at least three times, sometimes even more than ten times, to achieve the desired results. This dedication to the firing process speaks to Futoshi's unwavering pursuit of excellence and his commitment to bringing out the inherent beauty and power of the materials he works with.
Handling one of Futoshi's pieces is a transformative experience. The pottery emanates a sense of strength, resilience, and harmony—qualities that mirror the majestic landscapes of Aso itself. With each touch, we can feel the energy of the land coursing through the veins of the clay, inspiring us to appreciate the beauty of the natural world and our connection to it.