Noriko Eki's seemingly effortless porcelain pieces are popular in the galleries of Tokyo and Mashiko, Japan's largest pottery center, where she is based.
Eki and Mashiko
We discovered Noriko Eki's elegant pieces in Mashiko, Tochigi Prefecture. Mashiko, the "ceramics capital" of Japan, is the most modern pottery center in the country, first settled by Keizaburo Otsuka for the quality of Mashiko's clay. Later, Shoji Hamada, one of the founders of the Japanese "Arts and Crafts" movement, set up shop there, after which it became a mecca for artists who were interested in making daily utilitarian ware.
Eki is unique in her ability to seamlessly marry organic motifs with utilitarian function. Eki's light, effortless-seeming works stand out among the heavier earthenware pieces in Mashiko. Characterized by soft, round lines, often inspired by flora such as flowers or bamboo, her porcelain works are truly one-of-a-kind.
To create her works, Eki constructs molds in which she bakes porcelain clay, after which she skillfully blends the clay to create seamless, silky exteriors. The simple, organic shapes and lightness of design of her pieces make Eki a popular artist in the Mashiko area as well as in Tokyo, where she often exhibits her work.