Shino Takeda arrived to New York to become a dancer, but fate had other plans for her. Raised in the Japanese region of Kyushu, which has a big tradition of ceramics and art, and by a mother with a passion for both, she ended up continuing her heritage with the modern twist of NYC. All her pieces are versatile hand-made pottery which are born from the imperfections of life. Shino creates ceramics from the heart, making honesty and closeness the biggest charm of her beautiful pieces.
I saw them as something my mom was passionate about, that made our dinning table fun, something I could see the season in, and something I thought really cool. But it wasn't special. It was part of our regular daily life.
I have always collected ceramics, but I had never touched clay. It happened about five years ago. I lost three young friends and realized that life is short, and wanted to do something I was always interested in. I was interested in three things: Glass, metal and ceramic. Ceramic was the cheapest and easiest to try out... Also, I always make steam clam and I couldn't find a bowl I liked. I fell in love immediately. All I wanted to do was to make ceramic!
I moved to NY in 1997 to pursuit dance, but obviously it didn't work for me! I didn't speak English at all, but I clearly remember that I was very comfortable from day one. I don't think I felt the change, I was just very excited.
I have my own ideas, but I want people to use their imagination. A sake cup can be used as a flower vase on the side of a dinner plate, to leave the olive pits or maybe as a ring holder right next to the sink,...
I do feel like my year flies by, but if I look at my life, I can see no rush or stress at all. I make ceramics all day. Sometimes I take time off to do some other creative thing, like going to see a show, doing some cooking or spending a day with my friend in the sauna. NY moves at such a fast pace, but one can always create one's own speed. My work is more like the reflection of my life/time.
For me it just happens naturally, and in a very visual way. I see/hear/feel something beautiful or interesting and right away I have a ceramic picture in my head. Very instantaneous, there's not much thinking. If I see that picture it's not so difficult to make it come true. My shapes are so organic that it's not complicated.
I think glazing is just like cooking without recipe. You have to understand the basic flavor and play around hoping the combination works. By the way, I left the restaurant two years ago- I am officially a full time ceramicist!
I don't really have any favorite, but I don't like translucent colors at all.
The project is to be aware of the seasonal changes and variety in nature. A place to explore culture, tastes and aesthetics. Not only by eating seasonal ingredients, but also seeing the season on the plate through our custom-made ceramic. It's also a very good opportunity to meet people!
When I do wood fired, I'd say I leave it up to the God of Fire. Of course depending on where you put in the kiln it will make a different effect but I don't put any glaze. The ash flying in the kiln makes amazing results. You don't really know what will happen until you open the kiln. I like these kind of gambles!
Nature around me. Things I see like the sky, the ocean, birds, forests, trees, the sounds I hear, even heat gives me color inspiration. Every day has different colors. Outside my world and inside me. I always try to capture that.
I want to make more wood fired pieces and turn that into conceptual work with different material.