• Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

Over a year ago I started doing a pottery class with my mom. It was a good way for me to get out of the house and be doing something actively with my hands. For three hours a week I felt free and out of my head. Since I started a year ago I have grown a lot both as a person and as an artist. I can now make two things that look similar to each other, but I still have a long way to go and a lot more I can learn.

I go to local art fairs frequently and I am always blown away by the pottery booths. But I was not fully prepared for the Born of Fire exhibit at the Dayton Art Institute. One of the first pieces I noticed was one that appeared so simplistic from afar. It’s title is Tsukikage (Moonlight) by Fuku Fukumoto. From the entrance of the exhibit it looked like three bowls stacked inside of one another. Which in reality, that is exactly what it is. But each bowl has a scalloped edge and the most perfect, even glazing I’ve ever seen. Each individual bowl was done to perfection and then they were fused together. So simple and yet, so difficult to achieve.

Next to it was another piece called the Standing Swirl by Mio Takatsu. I’ve never seen a black piece shine so brilliantly. The shape itself is so organic, it’s difficult to remember that it is actually formed out of clay and not glass. It is almost the exact opposite of my favorite piece in the collection, D Tsutsumi Mono (Wrapped Thing). 

I have actually never seen a piece of pottery that looks like this one. It is the most organic piece, but it is also hard and almost harsh. It’s extremely realistic. I think that the thing I most enjoy about it though is the fact that it is a bright yellow and matte, which you don’t often see. You can see the outline of a box on the bottom half of the piece, and it looks pointed and sharp. But then the folded fabric around it looks soft and touchable. It’s an amazing juxtaposition. One of the things I think the DAI did really well was to display the piece in front of a red well. Because yellow and red are both primary colors, it really helped the piece to stand out in the room.

I was able to speak with a gentleman, Sam, who was also viewing the exhibit. His favorite piece was “Untitled.” I asked him what about that particular piece spoke to him and he said “It reminds me of my childhood. Going to the beach and exploring with my parents and sister.” Art is interesting in that way. This piece didn’t speak anything to me. But to someone else, it was the most beautiful in the entire exhibit. 

I would definitely recommend visiting the exhibit for yourself. It will be on display through Sep. 17. See which piece in the exhibit speaks to you. 

Jamie Herzog.

Associate Editor.