Vol.2. Taiga Oku

Vol.2. Taiga Oku

Located on the coast of Setouchi, we visited Taiga Oku’s studio in Kagawa, Shikoku island surrounded by small islands.

Before visiting his studio, we had spare time to visit a gallery called Shironui where Taiga’s exhibition was taking place. His pieces were placed beautifully, and they got us excited to see him in person.
In fact, it was my first time to meet him in person. Usually I go visit craft fair or artists directly, but for Taiga, my assistant found him in a craft fair a couple of years ago. So, it was really exciting to finally get to know him.

When we arrived his studio, he was blowing, and his wife welcomed us with cold cups of Japanese tea. It was hot summer in July, but surprisingly his studio wasn’t as hot as we expected. Later Taiga told us that sea breeze cools the air and temperature doesn’t go as high as inlands.

He showed us his electric kiln whose power is kept on 24/7, and only once or twice a year, he turns off for a week for maintenance. Then, he picked up a piece of melting glass from the kiln and started blowing to shape. It was quick and beautiful. Melting glass looks like a melting candy.

Listening to his story how he learned the skill of making glass in two different places, I found that the art of glass making takes long time to master. Contrast to pottery, glass can be shaped and good to go with in a day or two, but even before that you have to master the process in detail. For Taiga, it took more than 10 years before opening his own studio, and yet he keeps searching for better way and new ways and style for his glass.
We thank him for having us and promised to have dinner together next time. As we drove back to our hotel, we saw a beautiful view of Setouchi. I thought this beautiful view has been here for thousands of years and I thanked the beautiful nature of Japan.

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