Wonderful ceramic vessels
Nature serves as a continuing source of motivation for many modern artists, influencing everything from paintings to coral reef-inspired fabrics. One of such artists is Yumiko Goto, a ceramicist from Cleveland who works under the name Echo of Environment. She uses delicate rose petals, seeds, and buds as inspiration for her one-of-a-kind vases, ring plates, and lidded containers.
Goto’s grandmother worked as a kimono maker and was initially from Osaka, Japan. The artist’s upbringing inspired him to be artistic from a young age. She says, „Ever since I was a child, I have liked to produce, whether I’ve been playing with an Origami paper or becoming creative with mud creations. Every tiny ceramic container is meticulously created in the artist’s home studio, from creating the form in clay to adding pastel-hued glazes. Her love of crafts is evident in her work.
Every one of Goto’s ceramic pieces initially appears to be a conceptual artwork, but they may all be used as useful household items. The artist says, „My vases don’t initially look like vases. „However, if you look closely, they are actually flower and water pots. I desire my sculpture to serve both of these purposes in my work.
We previously spoke with Goto to learn more about her sources of inspiration and creative methods. Read on for the exclusive conversation with My Contemporary Met.
When did you start using clay for your projects?
A year after moving to the United States from Osaka, Japan, I started working with clay (1999). In Tennessee, I attended a little university where I took my first pottery lesson. I have always adored the tactile nature of clay, and I frequently found myself completely engaged in the creative process for extended periods of time.
What about clay as a media do you find most appealing?
I enjoy making designs and lines on the clay. An extremely sensitive substance is clay. I’m able to keep the clay altered in some way. I pierce, slice, and tear the clay before arranging it according to the designs found in nature.
Ceramics are made using a variety of techniques (throwing, trimming, glazing, etc). Which stage are you most fond of?
It is really difficult to single out just one. I adore the entire procedure, especially the change that takes place following the fire. It has some charm to it. I enjoy seeing something so delicate flow into my concept, thought, or creative expression and solidify into something that endures for a very long time. That intrigues me. The thrill, last but not least! I frequently create my own unique glazes, and it’s thrilling to watch my pots entirely change after the glaze fire. Each time I fire a glaze, I dash over to the kiln to see how it went. Even after 20 years of clay experience history, the excitement of opening the kiln persists. The opening of the kiln after each glaze firing still makes my 40-year-old studio coworker’s heart race. Watching it and imagining that in 20 more years, that will be me is comfortable.
Do you construct your sculptures by hand or on a pottery wheel (or both)?
I make by hand and also toss wheels. Since I was educated as a designer, I genuinely enjoy creating sculptures and layering complexity on top of the surface. For me, handcrafting comes naturally. Wheel throwing was difficult for me at first, but recently I’ve discovered it has a contemplative effect.
It’s obvious that environment has inspired your work. What interests you about this topic?
I enjoy hiking in the woods and gardening. It makes sense that the natural world always serves as the inspiration for my art. It’s enjoyable to gather the twigs and seeds and examine the natural object up close. Nature’s design contains a staggering number of repeats, patterns, and order.
Could you define your artistic thinking for creating a new design?
I experiment with textures and form. I sometimes scatter them around and meld them together in my head to form a hybrid of plants and minerals.
How do you think your Japanese ancestry has impacted your work?
My dad was a gardener, and I assisted him in harvesting the fruits from our backyard trees. My mom and grandmother made homemade pickles, jam, and fruit’s sake from our harvest each year. Many traditional events in Japan are closely associated with agricultural harvest. I had many happy memories of celebrating every season with my family. I now have two young children of my own. I take them to Hanami (Cherry Blossom Observation) and feed them Bento boxes under the cherry blossom trees.
Is there a favourite piece in your gathering?
Lidded vessels are my favourite type of collection. I refer to them as „secret vessels.“ I design some lidded vessels so that it is not immediately obvious that they are lidded. I like how they have components of surprise and suspense to them.