Midori Takaki | Ceramic sculptures - an ideal output for imagination and observation


It is unusual to find working with clay used as a way to cure sleeping problems but for Midori Takaki her sculptures make real her daily observations and imaginative ideas, in this way clearing her mind.

She has created a range of bottles specifically for Contemporary Ceramics characterising a delightfully mixed collection of animals.

Here, she talks with the gallery about her inspiration and way into working with clay. 

Contemporary Ceramics: Why do you do what you do? 

Midori Takaki: I found ceramic sculptures are the ideal output for my imagination and observation. I’m more fluent with clay than in English. By making them, I empty my brain and actually, I am able to sleep well. Creating cured my sleeping problem.

CC: How did you first get involved in working with clay?

MD: By sheer chance. I reluctantly accompanied my husband to an evening class. He wanted to make Japanese pottery for us so that we could eat Japanese food on them at home. I thought it was going to be a waste of my time and money. 

Midori Takaki | Bottles
CC: Are there new pieces or a new direction in your work that will be explored for this display feature?

MD: Yes, I have made a series of bottles for it. They are as close as my works can get to pottery, or vessels. As I was aware that most ceramic pieces in the Contemporary Ceramics Centre are vessels, I thought I would give a nod to them to show my respect.

CC: How do you work?

MD: I mainly pinch as much as and as wide as possible with my small hands because that is the most pleasurable way for me to work. But when I really need to, I do slabbing and, if I am really pressed, coiling, as the last resort. 

Midori Takaki | Lavenders and Cherry Blossoms
CC: How has your practice changed over time?

MD: It has changed all the time. Changing is part of what I do, and my point of what I do. The themes of my work have been my strong interest at that time.

CC: What images keep you company in the space where you work?
Midori Takaki | Autumn Butterfly, Lavenders and Cherry Blossoms

MD: None. My studio has white walls without any images. I eliminate all images or polychrome features. I found images and colours are distracting from my concentration when I work from my imagination. I also don’t draw. 

CC: What was the first piece of art that really mattered to you?

MD: Children’s book illustrations.

CC: How do you hope people experience your ceramics?

MD: My work is personal in lots of ways. I hope they have conversations with them. I know my clients do. And I certainly do.

CC: How does working with clay influence your life beyond the workshop?

MD:  It cured my life long sleeping problem. I have also become more perceptive.

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