I received a letter from his wife that he had passed 3rd of September 2022. It was shocking and made me sad. It is always weird having someone I know die, it seems nothing happened, yet I feel like a piece in my heart just vanished.
I first saw Hamada-san’s work at the artists’ convention in Gifu. Right away, I was drawn to his Kuro-oribe glaze which reminded me of paintings of Pablo Picasso. I remember I couldn’t find his phone number, so without an appointment, I visited him at his studio. He and his wife greeted warmly to a visitor without an appointment. They showed me around the studio and his works explaining what he tries to express with his pottery.
He told me he admired the works of Azuchi-Momoyama era, about 400 years old, when culture and the art of Japanese pottery flourished. He re-interpreted the works and tried to imitate how the potters in the era made pottery. That’s why he makes kuro-oribe glaze, Kiseto glaze and natural ash glaze to resemble the style.
It was the end of July that I last saw him in person. I thought he lost his weight, and talked less, which slightly worried me. He used to talk a lot telling me the story of old days. He was very knowledgeable.
I thank him for being so kind to me and all the works he has given to the world.