Wakako Senda

I wish my pieces to bear a mood of being dignified but never too sharp, with softness hidden inside.

I started my Etsy shop because I was recommended by my selling assitsant. In Japan, there are numerous varieties of vessels and a large number of potters with an established market for them. So I thought it could be a challenge for me to see if my works would be appreciated outside Japan.

As a potter, I value the blank space of a vessel.
To me, food is like a gift to my family and dear friends. It’s a small, hearty present from me and I think the dishes on which my food is served are a part of the treat. So they should not be too imposing to diminish the food but should be the ones to reflect the feeling of the cook.
I keep this in mind and try to give attention to the presence of my pieces so that both the vessels and food on them look beautiful. I hope to create a piece that would inspire to cook. I wish my pieces to bear a mood of being dignified but never too sharp, with softness hidden inside. I myself hope to be and live like that as a person.

My artistic background and education

I graduated from Okayama University, Faculty of Education. I completed the curriculum of high school education of arts and crafts. While majoring in visual design and making the graduation work with photography and silkscreen method, I enthusiastically took classes of pottery and woodwork.
My first time I touched to clay was in my pottery class at my University. After I graduated from University, I started working as a charge of the cooking program manager at local broadcast company. Through that experience, my interest for cooking lead my carrier.

My creative process

I’m sharing one room of my house as a work place and a kiln with my friend. We open our studio for pottery classes twice a week.
I settle the schedule first and spend four to eight weeks preparing for exhibitions and other events. The first half period is spent mostly for molding and keeping pieces in stock. I make ordered pieces in the meantime. During the latter half of the time, biscuit firing, glazing and glost firing are all done.
Once I get the picture of what I want to make, I try out blending of the glaze and combination with clay several times to approach more close to my desired texture. I use about four kinds of clay. Sometimes I start with no plans and it works out well with combinations never tested before.

My favorite artists

My favorite potter is Lucie Rie. I like her so much that I even cuddle up with her book.
By “duplicating” her works, I feel I can trace her process of creation and gain a lot from it.
As for painters, I like Giorgio Morandi. I wish my vessels have the atmosphere like still lifes in his paintings.

How to care for Japanese tableware

Japanese tableware (ceramic ware) usually requires care called “filling” before the very first use. “Filling” minimizes the stains that leak in the cracks developed in the glaze and closes up the rough, porous clay surface. In addition, “filling” on a regular basis helps to prevent small cracks and prolong usage lifetime. To let the pieces sit in and absorb water before serving food on them also prevents odor transfer.

Procedure for “filling”

- Put rice water (water left over from washing rice) or starchy water in a pot and stir well.
- Put the piece in the water and simmer over low heat for about 10 to 20 minutes. Take it out and leave till it is cooled down.
- Then wash to remove the sliminess and dry thoroughly.
※For big pieces such as earthenware pots or large dishes which do not fit in a pot, pour rice water directly to the pieces. After an hour or two, drain the water and wash.

It is not possible for “filling” to prevent absorption into the cracks developed in the glaze perfectly. Those cracks in the glaze get colored over time. We hope you enjoy those changes as if cultivating them.