On display in-store as part of our London Craft Week 2018 celebrations, Yuta Segawa creates miniature ceramic works of art. Having exhibited his work in Paris, London and Dubai, each of Segawa’s miniature pots are thrown by hand individually. Once thrown, he finishes every piece with one of his original glazes, of which he has created more than five hundred.
We caught up with Yuta to discuss his creative process, what he would be doing if he wasn't a ceramist and the inspiration behind his miniature creations.
Can you tell us a little more about what initially inspired you to create miniature ceramics?
When I started studying ceramics, I originally felt a strong attraction to my tutor Makoto Komatsu’s work, and the works of artists who worked at Gustavsberg, such as Wilhelm Kage, Stig Lindberg, and Berndt Friberg. However, I also liked post-war Japanese great masters such as Rosanjin Kitaoji, Munemaro Ishiguro, and Shoji Hamada.
When I thought about what I wanted to make, I saw massive potential in developing miniature pottery, like Stig Lindberg and Berndt Friberg did. I believed that I could make something new if I made it using Japanese traditions and techniques. So, I came to London and started to concentrate on making something new using the concept of miniature pots.
But what appeals to me most in ceramics is the combination of form, glazing, and texture. Miniature pieces are usually enough to express these elements. And since it takes less time to make small pieces, it allows me more time to experiment with the variation of forms, glazes, and clay.
How long does it usually take to complete each piece?
It usually takes me around 15 minutes, but sometimes I focus on intricate details then forget how much time has passed and it could take closer to an hour.
What's your favourite part of the crafting process?
There are lots of different processes in ceramics and I enjoy every step of the journey. I guess my favourite part is working on the wheel. It's exciting to create forms from scratch.
If you weren't a ceramicist, what medium do you think you would like to try your hand at?
I have always been interested in glass. I like the transparent appearance and although it looks quite similar to ceramics, the process is completely different. I'm hoping to work with glass in the future.
What does a day in the life of Yuta Segawa look like?
I start work at 9am every day; I'm on the wheel for 12 hours. I also spend a lot of time experimenting with new glaze recipes, as I have set myself a goal of making ten new glaze recipes every week. Across the rest of the day, I load and unload the kiln and glaze my bisque fired pots. I also try to go to the British Museum and the V&A as often as possible for my research on old ceramics.
Yuta Segawa's fascinating pieces will be on display to admire at The Conran Shop throughout London Craft Week 2018. The collection is also available for purchase in-store now.
To discover what else we have going on at The Conran Shop for London Craft Week 2018, click here.