I can't tell you how wonderful it is to see Akiko-san and be at her studio/gallery. We are kindred spirits, both artists and both textile lovers and love unusual and unconventional work. Long discussions ensue on the meaning of abstract art and how a particular artist works and how they do what they do. Akiko and her family used to live in Grand Rapids as her former husband worked for Yamaha (music division) and my former husband knew all of the Japanese community in Grand Rapids. Akiko had started making dolls while there and so it was a natural affinity for each other and our work. She returned to GR in 2006 when the Handweavers Guild of American had Convergence (sponsored by the Michigan League of Handweavers) to attend the conference with me.
|Ceramic hanging pieces.|
|My favorite cup!|
Her studio is open, wood floored, with high industrial ceilings painted white. Everywhere is the unique work of her friends. She doesn't just display it, she uses it constantly. Rice is cooked on the gas burner stove in a handmade ceramic pot, green tea (Ocha) is poured from a close friend's unusual small pot.
|Hashi-oki: small flat pieces on which to rest chopsticks.|
|Ceramic plate with transferred printing and added squares|
of glazed and ceramic collaged pieces.