Craftsmanship and the Fine Arts

Toshiko Takaezu (1922-2011) lived most of her life in rural New Jersey, where she made pots, gardened, and taught ceramics at nearby Princeton University. But she was born in Hawaii to Japanese parents, and the landscapes and traditions of the world she grew up in had a profound influence on her art. In the late 1990s, I spent time talking to Toshiko about her life and work. We had met at the Charles Cowles Gallery who was representing her and I was lucky enough to be the intern at the gallery at the time. I helped catalog her work and began to understand her philosophy of meditation as a process as she worked, silence was at the core during this time for her magnificent large sculptures Moonpots. To close the form of a vessel demanded a type of silence. Incredible kiln firing process and unique accidental glazing process. Its years later and I still think about her and that beautiful garden of hers. -Nancy Tranter