Ceramic Recycling - Mashiko, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan

Binns, David Stuart orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-1701-4954 (2019) Ceramic Recycling - Mashiko, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. In: Recycling Ceramics - Japan, 20th - 30th August 2019, Mashiko, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan.

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Official URL: https://www.davidbinnsceramics.com


In spring 2018 I was contacted by a Director of the Mashiko Ceramic Arts Association (MCAA), to discuss the possibility of running a ceramic recycling project.
Mashiko is a world-famous historic pottery making region in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. During the tragic 2011 earthquake and tsunami, many historic pottery kilns and studios in the town and surrounding region were severely damaged or destroyed – ruining the livelihoods of many people in the region.
I was invited act as an artistic / technical consultant, to demonstrate ways to utilise fabric from the damaged kilns and tons of broken ceramic ware, to make new products – offering an opportunity for the town to exploit the waste to help re-develop the local economy.

The project involved visiting Mashiko in August, to view the broken and damaged kilns and meet with the council representatives and local potters, to discuss how the ceramic waste may be processed and potential projects involving the waste.
During my visit, I ran a series of workshops, demonstrating how the historic ceramic fragments and shards could be used to make new artifacts. This involved spending a number of days in the workshop of artist Mr Fujiwara, undertaking a series of test castings, using broken ceramic shards gathered from local potteries, including shards and damaged kiln fabric from the studios of Shoji Hamada and Tatsuzō Shimaoka – potters that had the status of ‘Japanese Living National Treasure’.

I gave a lecture on my research and project at the Mashiko Museum of Ceramic Art.
I also had a solo exhibition of my work at the Mashiko Ceramic Arts Association Gallery, showing examples of my work that demonstrate how I have previously used historic ceramic fragments and shards to make new artifacts.
The project serves as a springboard for further projects, collaborating with artists and designers in the Mashiko region.

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