“kan_main”

Kan Suzuki | 鈴木環

イマジネーションが広がる、「白」の器

◆ヤギとともに暮らす
茨城県の緑豊かな山間の地、小高い丘の中腹に、鈴木の工房はある。三角屋根の可愛らしい住居の裏には広い敷地が広がり、そこでアポロという名のヤギを飼っている。冬は薪ストーブを使い、庭でオリーブを育て、山で拾ったくるみを食べる。そんな自然と寄り添いながら営まれる暮らしは、都市に暮らす者にとってはまるで絵本の中のメルヘンな世界だ。

“kan_01”

◆たどり着いたのは、フランスの「白」
鈴木は文化学院で陶磁を学び、その頃から粉引を使った器作りを30年以上続けてきた。彼の器と言ってまず浮かぶのはその「白」。白という色は実に幅広く、青白さをたたえた白色から生成りがかった白まで様々。鈴木の作る白は、ヌメリ感があって、まるで琺瑯のような艶やかさをたたえた白。素地の黒土とのコントラストが美しく、凛とした透明感もある。聞けば化粧土はフランス産のものを使っているという。その前はウズベキスタン、韓国など世界中の素材を試してきたが、このフランスカオリンに落ち着いて2年、これまででベストの白を出せているという。確かにそう聞くと、フランスの白にしか見えないのが不思議。土は本当に、その土地土地の色になる、と鈴木はいう。

“kan_03” “kan_04”

◆白い鳩
鈴木の代表作でもあるフリーカップは、ピジョン(鳩)シリーズという。両手に持った時に、それが白い鳩を抱くように見えたことがきっかけで、取引先の店主が名付けたのがきっかけ。それを知ってか知らずか、カップを買うお客さんは皆、「この子を連れて帰ります」と言うんです、と笑う鈴木。全ての工程を一人で完結する鈴木が、一つ一つ手作業で作るため、中央のふくらみ具合や化粧土のかかり方が一つとして同じものはない。それが群れの中から自分の運命の一羽を探し出す、そんな感覚に重なるのだろう。

“kan_02”

◆幸せな器
コンセプトもストーリーも特にない、ただ求められる条件の中で自分を出していく、と言うが、白への探究心やフォルムへのこだわりを「とにかく面白い」と言って無邪気に語る、そんな鈴木の作る器の上では料理も幸せにちがいない。幸せな作家が作る幸せな器。それこそが、名だたる料理店や料理研究家たちに愛される所以かもしれない。

“kan_05”


<略歴>
1963 茨城県出身。
1986 文化学院陶磁科卒業。茨城県桜川市で開窯。
現在まで個展、陶展入選多数。栗原はるみが選ぶ器展(優秀賞)、いばらきデザインセレクション(選定)、茨城県陶芸美術館(出品)、東京 日本橋高島屋(個展)、など。

"White" dishes stretching imagination

◆ Living with a goat
Kan's workshop is located on the low hillside between the lush mountains of Ibaraki. Behind the charming house with a gable roof is an extensive backyard, where he is rearing a goat named Apollo. He uses a wood stove in the winter, grows olive trees in the yard, and eats walnuts picked from the trees in the mountains. His way of living in nature seems very much like a fairy tale world from the urban people.

“kan_01”

◆ The conclusion he reached is the "white" from France
Kan has been creating wares using Kohiki for more than 30 years since he learned pottery at Bunka Gakuin. The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of his wares is its "whiteness." The color white actually comes in a wide range of shade; some are bluish-white, and some are unbleached yarn like white. The white Kan creates has got a slippery texture and looks polished as if it were enamel. The contrast with the body made of black dirt is beautiful, and it also has a sense of dignified transparency. He says that he uses engobe that is made in France. Before he found that, he has tried many materials from Uzbekistan, Korea and many from all over the world, but he's been settled with this France Kaolin for two years, saying that it is the best whiteness so far. Knowing that, it is strange that it looks like the white from France with no doubt. Kan says that the soil color really becomes of where it comes from.

“kan_03” “kan_04”

◆ White pigeon
Kan's representative work, free cups, are called the Pigeon series. Holding the cup with both hands makes you look like you are holding a white pigeon. By seeing this, a supplier's owner named the series. Kan with a chuckle says, "With or without knowing it, the customers who buy these cups say, ‘I will take this baby home. ’" Because each cup is handmade through the whole process by Kan, the bulge at the center and the way the engobe is coated are all unique. This resembles the idea of picking the ONE from a flock and perhaps overlaps with the customers' feeling.

“kan_02”

◆ Wares filled with happiness
He says, "There is no concept or story. I express myself under the conditions required." But the cuisine lying on his wares must be happy as he ingenuously talks about how much fun it is to seek for the perfect white and figure. Wares filled with happiness are created by an artist filled with happiness. This is why renowned chefs and culinary experts appreciate his wares.

“kan_05”


<Brief History>
1963 Born in Ibaraki
1986 Studied Pottery at Ibaraki Bunka Gakuin
Opend a studio in Sakuragawa-shi, Ibaraki
Up to the present date, he's been awarded many for his exhibitions and shows:
Award for Harumi Kurihara's Choice of Wares, award for excellence
Ibaraki Design Selection, nominated
Ibaraki Ceramic Art Museum, exhibited
Nihonbashi Takashimaya Tokyo, solo exhibition