CERAMICS IN JAPAN AND ITALY
A BRIEF HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION
WITH AN INTIMATE PERSPECTIVE
“I ‘look’ with the intent of perceiving the artistic elements of what
I am viewing rather than the intellectual dissection of information.”
— Jeff Shapiro
New York clay artist Jeff Shapiro joins Artful Journeys to discuss
the history, evolution and aesthetics of ceramics in Japan and Italy.
During 4 sessions, beginning Monday, March 8 at 11:00 (eastern), Jeff will lead us into the artistry of clay. Jeff, who has become a storyteller as well as an artist, lived and studied for 9 years in Japan. 36 years ago, he settled in Accord, New York, where he resides with his wife Hinako. He has led many workshops and forums about the creative ceramic arts, kiln-building, and discussions about the Japanese aesthetic.
His work is currently being shown at JOAN B MIRVISS LTD Gallery in NYC. And he has gallery affiliation with:
Galerie Capazza in Nancay, France
Gallery Heller in Heidelberg, Germany
Lacoste Gallery in Concord, MA.
His work can be found in prestigious museum collections such as:
MFA , Boston, MA,
AMOCA Museum in Pomona, California,
The Everson Museum, Syracuse ,NY
Carlo Zauli Museum in Faenza, Italy
Fuller Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts.
For more information about Jeff’s work, see
During his four 1-hour long Armchair Journey talks, he will do a simple exploration into the history of Japanese and Italian ceramics, take us to kiln sites, some of which he helped build, explore the characteristics of clay and how they affect the artistic
creation, and introduce us to his colleagues and their work through his stories.
Shapiro will intertwine anecdotes from his experiences both in Japan and Italy to give some insight to this very special relationship of these two distinctively different cultures. And he is interested in having a limited dialog at the end of each session.
March 8: Japan part 1 (@11:00 EST)
After a brief personal introduction and explanation for what he would like to achieve for these sessions, Shapiro will start with a brief breakdown of the history of ceramics in Japan from Jomon to the six ancient kiln sites. You will hear about the culture of Japan through the ceramic arts and through the eyes of the intimate experiences Shapiro had while spending 9 years in Japan. He will also discuss the Sodeisha breakaway ceramic art movement, and bring up his ideas about a parallel movement in Italy. The last part of each session will be for Q&A. Be ready to pose that burning question.
March 15: Japan part 2 (@ 11:00 EDT)
During this session, Shapiro will briefly and selectively discuss some of
the contemporary ceramic work of Japan. And again weave his personal
stories in a way that will give an intimate view of this segment of Japanese culture that is difficult to access on one’s own. There will be a discussion about the imperfections of Nature as an alternative perception of Beauty as it exists. You will be introduced to the extraordinary relationship with his patron Kabumoto Nobuo, who financed building a house, studio and kiln on the Japan Sea Coast. Again, there will be time for Q&A.
March 22: Japan part 3 (@ 11:00 EDT)
We will begin the session where we left off, going more in depth about the artist patron relationship and the memoir that Shapiro has been writing for almost 40 years! Then he and his wife Hinako will touch on the use of ceramic vessels and food, as well as end the session with a very simple tea ceremony. Q&A during the latter part of the session.
March 29: Italy part 4 (@ 11:00 EDT)
Italian ceramics with an intimate perspective. A simple description of Italian historical ceramics. Then we move to a few of the most important contemporary ceramic artists in Italy, and Shapiro’s thoughts about the movement that took place in the ceramic world in Italy as it did in Japan. You will hear the poignant story about Shapiro’s time in residence at the Carlo Zauli Museum working during the summer of 2012, as well as his story about building a kiln at Spannocchia near Siena, Italy.
Discussion in the form of proposed questions to Joan during the presentation will be encouraged as Shapiro welcomes the discourse and provocation of ideas.
The cost of this series is $60; individual talks are $15. You can