With its white volcanic surface layered with speckles of ashen grey, this stoneware vessel embraces the natural shape of the traditional Korean moon jar. It is part of a series of work where the artist explores ideas centred around alchemy and chance to produce one off pieces that connect to the rawness and unpredictability of nature. The work is deeply textured resembling coarseness and roughness of stone, weathered by the elements whilst at the same time retains the simplicity of utilitarian, functional objects. The work exemplifies Hirai's uniquely intricate making process which fuses Japanese tradition with Korean inspired shapes, developed through an ongoing process developed during her years spent living and working in the UK.
As all products are handmade, sizes and colour may vary slightly.
About the Artist
Akiko Hirai was born in Japan, where she trained in cognitive psychology. Her motivation to study ceramics came soon after moving to England in 1999, where she was introduced to the Korean moon jars in the British Museum. She trained at the University of Westminster and Central St. Martins. Her unique style combines British and Japanese pottery traditions.
Akiko’s versatility as a ceramicist is displayed in the huge range of beautiful practical and decorative objects that she has produced and which is displayed worldwide, in private and public collections, including the V&A, The Fitzwillam Museum, Westerwald Ceramic Museum, National Museum of Ireland and the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, NY. She taught ceramics at Kensington and Chelsea college between 2005 and 2015, acting as Head of the Department in her final years. In 2019 Akiko was shortlisted for the prestigious Loewe Craft Prize.