Tetsu-e teapot by Hamada Shōji



Tetsu-e teapot

Pottery with iron glaze
Hamada Shōji (1894-1978)

Hamada Shōji was a well-known Mingei ceramic artist. He first studied ceramics under Itaya Hazan at Tokyo institute of technology, though he intended to be a ceramist but a mere potter. After the graduation in 1916, he studied glaze with Kawai Kanjirō, another well-known Mingei artist. Around the time, he met Yanagi Muneyoshi (Sōetsu) who was the pioneer Mingei movement, Tomimoto Kenkichi who was a ceramist, and Bernard Leach; the pioneer of studio ceramic in Britain.
In 1920 he accompanied with Leach and they built a kiln in St Ives, and held Hamada held the solo-exhibition in London in 1923. He returned to Japan the following year. He first stayed in Okinawa studying local pottery and eventually settled down in Mashiko, Tochigi prefecture. He became a Living National Treasure in 1955.
He was an enthusiastic supporter of Mingei movement, then he took over the director of Mingei-kan in 1961 after Yanagi Muneyoshi. He also established another Mingei museum Sankō-kan in Mashiko in 1977.
This piece shows his features very well: hand wheeled simple shape and dynamic drawing with iron glaze. As he intended, we can find the beauty in the daily life pottery.