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After the fire completely consumed his family’s house in the Oakland, CA area the only thing that remained were their white porcelain pots. During a brief phone interview Tsuruta shared that his Japanese family had specific uses for their pots depending on what the meal was.
Takemi Tsuruta remembers that the glaze on these porcelain dishes were still fully intact, despite temperatures exceeding 2000°F while burning his family’s house to the ground. In their household, their white porcelain dishes were used for spaghetti dinners and were the only items that survived the catastrophe. This stuck with Tsuruta throughout his educational years.
And even though at the time Takemi was just in junior high school, this experience formed a lasting artistic influence in his work even today.
Takemi’s work has been described as “a perfect blend of artful & practical,” “essential”, “striking”, “beautiful both empty & full”, “edgy & modern” just to reference a few of his clients’ remarks.
I personally find Tsuruta’s work refreshing in its simplicity, care and sleekness in a world that seems to lust over hyper complex approaches and developments to art, business, technology, and life. To be in the presence of such work is tranquilizing and certainly relaxing.
If you never thought a set of porcelain cups could be akin to sitting on a cool beach void of people, technology, and the hustle & bustle of the rat race, I invite you then into the artwork of Takemi Tsuruta where it is one of his design elements.
Takemi currently practices his craft in the San Francisco area of Clayton, California and can be found on Instagram via @tsurutastudio.
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*Work is fired to cone 11-12 and is dinnerware safe.