Tomonari Hashimoto is an incredible ceramist and one of the finalists of Loewe Craft Prize 2019. He creates sculptural artworks using ceramic. Most of his art pieces are colossal, some are over two meters high, and seem like they are made of metal.
He uses a method in which he accumulates strings of clay called hand-forming. He never cuts anything while forming. The clay is baked 3 times, when unglazed, then at 1000-1100℃ after being glazed, and then at 500℃ in carbonization fire. The glaze melted during the 2 firing processes displays several expressions in color and texture at the last carbonization fire process.
In the firing process, the glaze which includes a lot of metallic oxide, goes through several changes in color by the oxidation/reduction effect of fire. He uses an electric or gas ceramic art kiln during the firing process at 1000-1100℃. For the carbonization fire process, he accumulates bricks around his artwork, makes a kiln outdoors, and fires with a gas burner. He stops the gas at 500℃, open the lid, and pour in chaffs. At this time, oxidation/reduction inside the kiln is mixed together, and the color or the glaze changes by the fire and smoke.
When Hashimoto is creating his art pieces he repeats ancient practices such as sculpting and baking soil crust after hand-forming. He was influenced by his father, who was a sculptor, so he is producing art since he was a child. When choosing his major, he decided to dedicate himself to ceramics. He then proceeded to Graduate School, and ended his college life after receiving a master’s degree in March, 2017.
Although he is not sure how much he likes pottery, he feels very comfortable working with clay and burning it at the moment. He confesses: “In this somewhat frivolous and superficial modern society, I am hoping that my works will become a chance for people to stop for a moment to see through the essence of matter and to face oneself.”
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