Hideaki Miyamura, Potter, Kensington
By Julie Mento
The long driveway to Hideaki Miyamura’s house leans in to a deciduous forest. Hideaki welcomes me into his studio, a spare white space that reminds me of the chalky surface of clay pots before they’re fired. Jewel-colored vessels are arranged on towering shelves – a kind of temporary pottery nursery where they await dispersal to homes, galleries, and museums around the world.
Outside is the chaos of a construction site. “That,” Hideaki says, “is where my new kiln will be.” The modest structure will house a kiln that will allow him to create vessels more than 40 inches in height; currently he is limited to 28 inches. The $5,000 fellowship award will cover a percentage of the cost. He is anxious to complete the project and fire up the kiln sometime this winter.
Hideaki, who specializes in high fire porcelain clay, is currently developing a glaze he calls “Yohen Crystal.” Yohen means “stars glistening in a night sky.” Glazes, specifically Tenmoku glazes dating back to China’s Sung Dynasty, inspired him, as a youth, to become a potter. Born in Japan to an architect and civil engineer, Hideaki apprenticed for six years with a master potter. During that time, he developed more than 10,000 test pieces. Some of his current glazes are inspired by contemporary glass blowers.
Hideaki is a regular exhibitor at the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen’s annual fair. His simple and elegant displays, with white walls and a dozen or so vessels, draw repeat visitors and newcomers alike.
He has been a juried member of the League since 1995 and was awarded his first fellowship from the State Arts Council in 2002. His work is collected by individuals, corporations, and museums all over the world, from New Zealand to Israel and Tokyo to Vienna, but he is most proud of his representation in collections at the Sackler Museum at Harvard, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Minneapolis Museum of Art, the American Craft Museum, the Carnegie Museum, the Renwick Museum, and the Pucker Gallery in Boston.
“I create my own interpretations of classical forms, while trying to achieve a clarity and simplicity of line,” Hideaki says. “I am very conscious of the ways in which a form interacts with the space around it. I want my pieces to feel in balance with their environment, to feel as though they co-exist naturally with their surroundings. When I create my pieces, I hope to make people feel good when they look at my work. My goal is to try to evoke a feeling of inner peace and tranquility.”
to 2009 Fellows page
Photo by Julie Mento, NHSCA
September 17, 2008