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Interview with Kohei Watabiki and Mayuko, ceramic artists [WATAKAMA]

[The following are the artists of the cups used at [M KYOTO CAFE by Leaf].
Mr. and Mrs. Kohei and Mrs. Mayuko Watabiki established their ceramic studio WATAKAMA in Kameoka, Kyoto in 2015.
We asked him about why he started making ceramics, his works, and his thoughts on the future.
Please enjoy the exhibition while relaxing at the café.

1.How did you get started in ceramics?

Tsunehira: "We are both ceramic artists and currently produce, exhibit, and sell vessels under the name WATAKAMA. We met at the graduate school of Kyoto City University of Arts. Originally, we were both making large objects to convey messages. But after our first daughter was born seven years ago, we decided to make our own things for our own use, and our lives became centered on vessels."

Mayuko: "While raising my three children, I make vessels with a specific theme in time for exhibitions. I had been concentrating only on contemporary ceramics, so when I first started making vessels, there were many things I did not understand, and I did not have a teacher to listen to. I want to express the qualities of vessels that are different from those of craftsmen, so I actually use them with my family to feel their texture and weight, and use that as feedback to bring them closer to perfection."

2.Please tell us about the "features" of this work and your "thoughts on the work".

[WATAKAMA's vessels are produced in a style in which, once a finished product is created according to a theme, a mold is made and the same design is produced again. Mayuko's "skirt" has a somewhat feminine design. Kohei's "omochi" is characterized by the position of the base and the asymmetrical form, which cannot be expressed by the potter's wheel. Both of us like animal bones, stones, and other forms found in nature, so we aim for that kind of atmosphere in our vessels."


3.About future developments

Tsunehira: "We just moved into an old house in Kameoka in 2020. We renovated many parts of the house with our own hands, and we are still in the process of adding more. We hope to complete the gallery space soon so that visitors to the area can view and purchase our vessels at any time."


Mayuko said, "We have been using WATAKAMA containers in the café at the market Touya, which sells products by weight, and we began to think about what we could do to help people live a waste-free life. We would like to create storage containers with lids to put dried plums and other dried foods in and display them on shelves."


Kouhei Watahiki / Born in 1982 in Mie Prefecture. Completed graduate studies at Kyoto City University of Arts. Established "Children's Atelier Tektoku," a plastic arts school in Kameoka and Shino. He has held many art events mainly in Kameoka City. Established a ceramic studio "WATAKAMA" to propose vessels that change people's lives. Launched a project to reproduce a small Sue ware triangular kiln, and began experimental archaeology with a ceramic artist x archaeologist. Currently based in Kitanosho, Chiyogawa-cho, Kameoka, while renovating an old private house.

4.solo exhibition history

2016 Bread vessels and wooden spoons exhibition WATAKAMA/Watakama x Kentaro Suzuki
2017 Fuyu no Utsuwa Exhibition
2018 Exhibition of woodworkers and potters who met at a bakery WATAKAMA/Watakama x Kazunari Oya
2019 Tavi no tochu no tochu no

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*Please note that the information contained herein is subject to change without notice.
*Since this site uses automatic translation, the translation may differ from the original Japanese content.


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