Japanese Shokunin porcelain cups create a tactile connection to water



Discovering 100 hand thrown porcelain, anthracite & stoneware cups that were fabricated in 2015, packed away in storage and forgotten about until today

Looking back at the project they were made for I am remnded of the Japanese word 'shokunin' is defined by both Japanese and Japanese-English dictionaries as ‘craftsman’ or ‘artisan,’ but this literal description does not fully express its far deeper meaning. The Japanese apprentice is taught that shokunin means not only having technical skills, but also implies an attitude and social consciousness. The shokunin has a social obligation to work his/her best for the general welfare of the people. This obligation is both spiritual and material, in that no matter what it is, the shokunin’s responsibility is to fulfil the requirement.

On one of my first trips to japan over 20 years ago I met one such apprentice who started making a simple clay cup design when he was just 15; when I met him he was 82 and still making the same beautifully refined drinking cups he had started producing all those years ago. They were elegant, functional & highly prized within the community. 

Water is a life force. How we imbibe it should be given that respect; If we can have a tactile experience, the simple pleasure of drinking water connects somewhere deeper.

Water  has been the primary medium in my studio for 30 years, a subject whose concerns have also been a lifelong intense dialogue, my very own campaign of art activism perhaps. 

These highly tactile, raw porcelain cups will help connect earth & water with body and they are available here.