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Born in 1981 in Takatori, Nara, Masahiko Yamamoto is a ceramicist currently based in Soni, Nara. In 2003, he attended the Kyoto Prefectural Ceramics Technical College before studying under Shin Murata in Kyoto. In 2007, Yamamoto returned to Takori to make pottery before opening his workshop in Soni in 2017.

Masahiko Yamaoto’s work begins with digging, sourcing, and collecting clay from all over Japan. He says of the material “It’s not a matter of clay from here or there being good or bad as every place has its own character, its own unique qualities.” His process involves experimentation, learning about each type of clay and the best way to form and fire each type. Using his grandfather’s kerosene kiln, Yamamoto likes to experiment with his firing, sometimes adding grass, charcoal, or firewood, finding joy in the unknown outcomes of his firings.

Although immersed in Japanese culture every day, Masahiko is influenced by a mix of different cultures, notably admiring creations from Southeast Asia, and by the shapes and colours of the mountains and rivers. Masahiko’s experimentation and playful approach to clay as well as his eclectic inspirations creates exciting works that, whilst rooted in traditional Japanese pottery, have bold character and an overall aesthetic unique to the artist.


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