Japanese potter Taja (Yasuharu Tajima-Simpson), has been making pots in Devon for over 35 years. He came to the UK from Japan in 1981 when he was 26 years old to study oil painting. Because of the tradition of pottery making in Devon, he gradually became interested in becoming a potter and so his career as a ceramicist began.
Large one-off pieces
Taja started making ambitious sculptures in earthenware, then soda glazed stoneware pots and is now producing his trademark fine porcelain pieces with celadon glaze. He makes a range of slab-built porcelain tableware as well as coil built, large one-off pieces.
These processes mean each piece ends up a different size and shape. He uses his own blue celadon glaze called Seiji glaze (meaning literally porcelain blue in Japanese) which he developed with a grant from the Arts Council England. Recently he has added green and Tenmoku glaze to get a more dramatic effect interpreting colours from the deep sea. All pots are reduction fired in a gas kiln.
Coast and moorland
His design ideas and his inspiration comes from his surroundings, the coast and the moorland on his doorstep as well as his country garden in Devon. His work has an organic feel to it and the gentle Japanese aesthetic radiates through every piece. Taja is a selected member of the national Craft Potters Association and the Devon Guild of Craftsmen.
As a independent gallery 45 Southside in Plymouth say they are passionate about promoting our Devon and Cornwall based artists. Since opening in 2009, 45 Southside has become known for exhibiting high quality and innovative craftsmanship all year round.
Taja Ceramics, From the Deep Sea – will be at 45 Southside, 21 March – 27 April 2020. All are welcome.
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