Yuko Ikeda | 池田優子

自由で気持ちの良い風が吹く、一点モノの器たち。

◆作品が生まれるガレージ
大阪の下町、今里の古い家並みの一角に池田の自宅兼アトリエはある。ガレージの扉を開けると、作品たちが静かに折り目正しく並ぶ、その空間はまるでギャラリーのよう。外光を受けると、黒く見えていた器が突如青みがかり、白い皿はピンクやベージュのグラデーションがかかったようにと、様々に表情を変える。コバルトブルーの器は光を反射して微かにキラキラと輝く。アトリエには池田の描いたドローイングや、古道具、ドライフラワー、手製の鉄の什器などが調和し、静かで美しい空間を作り出している。

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◆日常に寄り添う、アートな器
池田のキャリアはとてもユニークだ。サンディエゴのプラットカレッジでグラフィックデザインを学ぶが、帰国後に陶芸に出会い、その魅力にとりつかれて陶芸の道へ進むことになる。二次元から三次元へ、デジタルからアナログへのキャリアチェンジ。専門学校や工房に入ることなく、ビデオを見ながら、時に研究会へ参加し独学で技術を習得した。日々の生活に寄り添うものを作る、創作の拠り所は、これまでも今も変わらない。器自体に主張がありながら、どんな料理を乗せてもその料理を引き立たせ、調和する。それも、彼女が常に「生活」を創作の原点に置いているゆえ。けれどその作風は彼女の人生のステージとともに、少しずつ変化を遂げているようだ。子育ても落ち着いた今、ただ使い勝手の良いだけでない、特別なもの、作品との一期一会を提供したいという。幼い頃からアートに触れながら育った彼女は、日常に寄り添うアートとしての器をつくっていきたいと語る。

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◆カリフォルニアの空気を感じる、気持ちの良い和食器
彼女の作品の魅力は、柔らかく繊細な和の造形美と、ニュアンスのある色使いが同居するところ。絶妙なアースカラーが生む、開放感のある佇まいは、彼女の過ごした西海岸の景色を想像させる。またカリフォルニアの「やりたいことをやる」という風土は、彼女の生き方そのものに貫かれているようだ。「気持ちの良い風が吹く」そんな形容詞がしっくりくる、彼女自身を映し出したような器たち。器を使うお客さんの方も、昔に比べるとどんどん「自由」になってきていると語る。その自由な解釈、自由な発想で、楽しんでほしい器たちだ。

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<略歴>
1973年 大阪市生まれ
プラットカレッジ(米) サンディエゴ校 グラフィックデザイン科 修了
帰国後、独学で作陶を始める
自宅ガレージ内のアトリエで制作を続けながら、国内外の個展・企画展に参加

With a nice and free breeze, the one and only pottery

◆ Garage where art-pieces are created
Along with other traditional houses, Yuko's house/atelier is located in the corner of an old town in Osaka. Opening the garage door, you can see her art-pieces lined up neatly as if it were an art gallery. Catching the outside light , the potteries that looked dark become bluish, and the dishes that are white become gradational pink and beige showing different aspects. The cobalt blue potteries reflect the light and slightly yet beautifully shimmer. In Yuko's atelier, her drawings, old tools, dried flowers, and handmade iron store fixtures all harmonize and create an exquisite atmosphere.

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◆ Artistic potteries in your everyday life
Yuko's career is very unique. Although she studied graphic design at Platt College in San Diego, after returning to Japan, she came across pottery which enchanted her and decided to pursue pottery making. It was a career changing from two dimensions to three dimensions, from digital to analog. Without going to a technical school or studying at a studio, she learned the techniques on her own by watching videos and sometimes participating in a seminar. Create what can be used in everyday life, her principle of creation has never changed and never will. A dish itself holds a presence, yet it brings out the best of any cuisine and complements another. That is also because she values "daily life" in the basis of her creation. However, the style of her artwork has been gradually changing as her life stage changed. After raising her child, now she wants to provide products that are not only useful but special and at the same time offer once in a lifetime opportunities. Raised in an environment surrounded by art, she wants to make artworks that just sit right beside your everyday life, she says.

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◆ Comfortable Japanese tableware with a scent of California
The beauty of her products is the coexistence of Japanese figurative beauty that is soft and delicate and her usage of colors that is rich in nuance. The presence of open feeling created with earth colors in a fine balance conjure the views of the West Coast where she spent some time. The Californian "Do what you want" style can be seen in her way of living. You can almost see herself in her products that perfectly go with the words "a comfortable breeze." She says that the customers using her products have become more "free" compared to the earlier days. With free interpretations and free ideas, these tableware wish to be enjoyed.

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<Brief History>
1973 Born in Osaka, Japan
Studied Graphic Design at Platt College in San Diego
After returning to Japan, she learned pottery on her own
While keeping the production going at the atelier in her home garage, participating in the exhibitions and design shows domestically and internationally