In 1965, Louise received a Canada Council Scholarship which enabled us to travel to Japan and work at the studio
of master ceramist Tatsuzo Shimaoka, in Mashiko, from May 1966 until April of the next year. During our stay, we made two wood-burning kiln firings, and we had two exhibitions in Japan. As guest artists in a well-established workshop,
we had the privilege to produce independently from Shimaoka-san while observing him and his artisans at
work. (There were six artisans, or shokunin, in the
workshop at that time).
It is also during our stay in Mashiko that we became friends with Shoji Hamada, one of the most renowned japanese potter of the last century. We had many opportunities to visit his studio. His sensibility, his intelligence, his curiosity and his great passion for collecting art and antique left a strong impression on us.
We learned a lot about studio work in Mashiko, and Shimaoka respected our different sensibility and approach.We will be ever grateful to Shimaoka-san; we are quite certain we could never have done such work anywhere else.
Photography by Shoichi Koinuma