Mika Higashionna

Mika Higashionna

"It looks like an abstract oil painting," is what many people – myself included – probably think when they see Mika Higashionna's works for the first time. In the collection of works she's most known for, a liquefied clay known as "slip" is applied in a way that leaves thick brush strokes. Her ceramics have an overwhelming beauty that can simply be admired as works of art on a shelf, but the real joy lies in using them in daily life. They are sure to liven up any dining table and enhance your quality of life.

Higashionna always liked drawing, so going to art college was a natural progression. But she also became curious about ceramics, and just like that, she decided to major in it. While in her fourth year, she was invited to take part in a two-person exhibition and show her works to an audience. It was an experience that fueled a desire to continue making art, so she went on to graduate school.

At just around that time, the traditional path of working under a master at their workshop was shifting to one where artists freely developed and sold their own style. So, Higashionna never joined a ceramics studio and instead repeated the process of searching for her own style while working at a pottery class. One of the most interesting things is the way she compares ceramic artists to DJs. Almost all new pottery techniques have been exhausted, so now it's about choosing from existing methods and combining them to create a new style. And as she began to see glimpses of her defining style manifest in her works, the offers for exhibition and purchase from galleries and shops grew.

If you follow the process of how she makes her signature series of works, you'll notice that it is actually based on the accumulation of several processes.
The use of slip was said to have originated in areas where white clay was hard to come by and involves dissolving the valuable white clay into a mud-like substance which is painted just on the surface. Using this method, Higashionna can apply various colors with a brush, like one might on an oil painting, to create abstract-painting-like worlds on each piece. This must be done at just the right moment after the clay is formed and before it completely dries, when it is at the ideal softness. There is no room for delays.
Moreover, a technique involving the use of red iron oxide adds contour to the uneven parts of the slip brush strokes. This additional step after bisque firing adds depth to the piece.

An unwavering artistic sense and hard work are weaved into these one-of-a-kind works, and I hope you use them on a daily basis. The reason they're surprisingly compatible with any meal and so easy to use is because Higashionna herself is also a housewife who cooks every day.