Sumi-e by Charmian Ongaka Bisuketto Studio
I was a practising registered architect for 7 years before I started my ceramics journey. Ceramics to me, much like my experience in Architecture, is a functional form of creative expression just at a different scale. In ceramics, I enjoy being able to see the final outcome in a short space of time, that is shorter compared to the architectural process.
Bisuketto Studio was started in 2015 and the name bisuketto is derived from the Japanese word, biscuit. This refers to the biscuit firing or the first firing in the world of ceramics. This is the turning point where clay once soft and pliable is set in permanence by heat, an in-between stage before being glazed and fired to its final state.
I like to plan and have a visual map of what I am creating for the day. I usually start with sketches of what I am thinking on paper and then test it out on the wheel. I find that the design of each piece is fluid, never static and constantly evolving. Essentially the idea is the same but the final product goes through an evolution of sorts with the multiple steps in ceramics informing certain decisions and also through the refinement of throwing the same piece over and over again through time. Most of the pieces I have selected for the exhibition are staples from my range, with the exception of the carafe and the lidded pot. Going through old photos of the same pieces, you can see how they have changed albeit slightly through the years. They are less curvy at the base, have thinner walls and cleaner lines. I feel that the pieces selected are representative of the language Bisuketto Studio is striving to present. I find it is amazing that clay, essentially earth, can be transformed by hands, water and fire, and when the alchemy is right the piece is cherished as part of daily ritual.
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