Tadami Hirota

The work of Tadami Hirota is a rare find. An award-winning potter from Shiga prefecture in Japan, he was born in 1949 and studied under the potter Shozou Ito in Kyoto, making the highly prized and individual  Kiyomizu (or Kyo) ceramics. In 1971 he received the name “Shinho” and since then he uses this name as a potter. Amongst numerous other awards, he has received the Gold Prize of Shumei Culture Exhibition.

Kiyomizu artists work to a high degree of sophistication, custom-making and decorating each item with great care and attention to detail. Shinho has taken this skilled and exact training and brought it to his own highly individual approach. His beautiful pieces go through many technically demanding processes and firings but possess the ease and poise of an artist at the height of his powers and totally in touch with his innate character and surroundings.

Driven by a deep interest in nature, Mr Hirota takes a walk around his property every morning with sketchbook and pens. Revisiting the same places time and again, he enjoys discovering and recording the subtle changes in the seasons, weather, plants, flowers and visiting birds he observes. These sketchbooks are then used as his source for sensitive painting and unusual decoration on the local Shigaraki clay he uses for his handbuilt or thrown pieces. He uses gold and silver lustres and other pigments for his painting. Extra firings are required for this - each time risking all the skilled work that has gone before.

The work is demanding and slow and not many pieces are produced each year - but Shinho’s focus is on the clay and his deep connection to the natural world. The pieces are created from a place of inner integrity and as a result, he achieves an exquisite balance between beauty and simplicity. "Talk to clay and learn from it. Endless thought on clay. The joy of creation. May this small clay vessel from my hand be used for warm exchanges between you and others..."

Hirota Tadami, a respected potter in Japan, highlights the rareness of his works: "All works are completely fine quality. He has sold his works mainly in exhibitions. It's difficult to find his works at any galleries, even in Shigaraki."