Toshiko Takaezu, American ceramic artist and painter, made functional wheel-thrown vessels and abstract sculptures, and when she didn’t have access to a kiln, she painted on canvas.
Challenging the traditional boundaries between craft and fine art, Takaezu played a pivotal role in redefining conventional methods of ceramics; by closing the mouths of her clay pots, Takaezu started to distance her works from any preconceived ideas of functionality. Takaezu’s organic and expressively painted artworks draw on the natural world, Japanese tea ceremonies, and Zen philosophy.
By rejecting the rules and reshaping the industry, I am in awe of her quiet dedication to redirect her own practice. Opting to retire and spend her last days as a studio artist, Toshiko Takaezu reminds us to reshape the model to best fit our own agendas, to not make any compromises or short cuts, and to feel that traction of moving forward on a path that you created purely for yourself.