I met AKUTSU Masato, a young potter who comes from a family of potters, toward the end of his first solo show in Mashiko, Japan. I don't think he was quite prepared for us to buy out most of what remained of his exhibit.
But when I saw Mr. Akutsu's work, I knew I had found something very special. Akutsu's work is one of the best examples of the possibilities in the convergence of the rustic aesthetic of Mashiko ware with contemporary style. The textures of his glazes and slip decorations are rich, but the finished work shows stark, clean lines more reminiscent of modern aesthetics.
By moving beyond the bounds of traditional ornamentation without abandoning the tools and materials of traditional Japanese craft, Mr. Akutsu creates his own rustic-contemporary approach to his ceramic forms; his work is made to be relevant to the lives of those living in Japan today, but still using comforting motifs and colors.