About Yo Thom
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"My distinctive surface is decorated with indigo slip using the sgraffito technique, then glazed over with tin-based matt glaze, which creates the slate-like quality. My decoration developed from an unique synthesis of inspirations from the Japanese traditional indigo fabric, and the beautiful surroundings in rural Dorset. "
I was born in Japan in 1973 and now live and work in Fontmell Magna near Shaftesbury. My endeavour in ceramics started here in the UK rather than my home country, where the ceramics history goes back over 10,000 years. I was captivated by the life of the British potters and their unconventional approach, and became an apprentice for a renowned British studio potter, Lisa Hammond (MBE). I established my first pottery in London in 2004, and produced some functional tableware mainly in Celadon blue and carbon-trap Shino glazes in reduction firing.
My current work was developed in 2009, when I switched my kiln from gas to electric. The stoneware pots are made by various techniques, thrown, coiled, slab-built and pinched. Even the wheel-thrown forms such as mugs, jugs, and teapots are individually hand finished rather than turned on a wheel, hence each one is unique. My distinctive surface is decorated with indigo slip using the sgraffito technique, then glazed over with tin-based matt glaze, which creates the slate-like quality. My decoration developed from an unique synthesis of inspirations from the Japanese traditional indigo fabric, and the beautiful surroundings in rural Dorset. Japanese traditional patchwork called Boro is my latest interest, which works sympathetically with my idea of creating some abstract landscape on the surface of her work.
Prior to my UK life, I studied sociolinguistics and anthropology as part of my English Degree.
That lead to my interest in ancient artefacts and ethnic crafts, especially with some symbolic patterns and markings. Each culture has symbolic patterns and markings to characterise their own culture, which mostly comes from the nature surrounds them. My unique standpoint as a Japanese artist in rural Dorset has given a distinctive character to my creations.
Since relocated my pottery to Dorset, I has been commissioned by local catering businesses to produce tableware. My unique fusion of East and West appealed to those businesses as they also have the strong theme of cultural blend, and a strong interest in locality. As Simon Olding in Ceramic Review wrote ‘These are plates with an energy and pace to their appearance, as if a breeze is blowing across the interior surface or landscape of the work’.
I am a professional member of Crafts Potters Association and my work is exhibited at galleries and shops throughout UK, and also sold in France and Japan.