We visited Yusuke Wakasa on a warm spring day. His house/studio is located in a small island called Etajima, Hiroshima, which is in Southern part of Japan having relatively warm climate even in winter.
He told us his grandfather who was a potter had great influence on him. When Yusuke was in an art college, he often visited grandpa’s place, and he was drawn to the art of pottery. After having learned pottery as apprenticeship in Kyoto, he decided to go back to his root, his grandfather’s place. Though his grandfather had been passed away and the house was empty for a while, there were all the tools and a kiln he needed to start his own studio.
I love the shape of his pieces, so I asked him where and how he gets inspirations. His answer was fascinating and I thought the structure of brain is completely different from a regular mind like mine. He said, as an art student and having lived over 40 years, he has looked so many things both man made and natural objects. He inputed those in his head, and gradually those images are digested, becoming a shape he wants to express with his pottery.
He also told me that having lived in an island surrounded by ocean and beautiful blue sky inspired him to make his signature blue glaze. He loves the island and wants to express the scent of the island.
His curiosity and creativity never stops. He constantly comes up with new ideas about texture, clay and glazes. I don’t know any potter who can do so many different styles of pottery as Yusuke. He told me laughing “I feel uneasy not making things”. He also told me he recently made a wood firing kiln with a group of potters in Etajima, so he would try to make some pieces by wood firing.
I will be looking forward to seeing his new pieces made in the woodfired kiln.