The Art of Mr Kamada

September 2, 2015
comments comment comments

Here’s a text from our new book 'Green Tea:The Quest for Fresh Leaf and Timeless Craft freshly translated into English and now on sale.

Mr. Kamada has been practicing the art of pottery for over forty years. He has ded- icated the better part of his work to developing a modern and original vision of the Tenmoku style, which goes back to the Chinese Song dynasty [960-1279] and was introduced to Japan by Buddhist monks in the eighteenth century.

Mr. Kamada is one of the rare modern Japanese ceramists who have dedicated their life to creating pottery in the Tenmoku style and to researching its history. The fascinating glaze effects and the overall quality of his works have made him one of the most respected potters in Kyoto. His works are exhibited in many of Japan’s most prestigious galleries. Since 2005, his most recent creations have also been part of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art’s permanent collection.

Upon meeting Mr. Kamada, we took the opportunity to ask him a few questions about his work, his methods, and the art of pottery.


Mr Kamada, after over forty years of practicing the craft, ou have certainly developed a personal approach to pottery. What do you need to work?

I only need concentration and a suitable workspace.

What influences and motivates you in your work?

Before, I was inspired and influenced by the great tradition of ancient ceramic arts.
 I studied this subject, but reproducing this type of pottery is no longer a goal for me. Nowadays, I am more inspired by other forms of art or by nature. My main interest is to produce original works in the Tenmoku style. I get excited when a museum or the Japan Crafts Association invites me to exhibit my works. It is very stimulating to have this opportunity to show new works.

What does it take to be a good potter?

In my opinion, to always keep exploring is the best attitude. I learn a lot from my mistakes. For example, no matter how much I try to control the glazing, the effects are always different.

What is your view of the art of pottery in present-day Japan, in comparison with when you started?

When I began my career, there were many young potters and this art was very much alive. Since then, pottery has become quite diverse. Today, it is increasingly about design. It seems that the original character of a piece of pottery no longer has the same value. Consumers from all over the world can buy pottery without even touching the pieces. In an ideal world, I believe that people should have the opportunity to touch and hold the pieces before buying them.

Other works by Mr Kamada are available in our stores on Emery Street in Montreal and in Quebec.

Ask our experts to show them to you when you next visit. An unforgettable experience guaranteed!

Add a comment