Culture Corner


“Akio Takamori: Portraits and Sleepers”
Museum of Glass, 1801 Dock St.

The career of artist Akio Takamori (Japanese-American, 1950-2017) spanned more than 40 years, during which time he became a well-known influencer of contemporary ceramics. His artistic career pushed boundaries of traditional industrial pottery, ceramic slab vessels, and larger-than-life public art commissions. In honor of Takamori’s outstanding legacy, Museum of Glass will feature glass artwork made during Takamori’s 2014 residency at the Museum alongside his well-known ceramic sculpture. Curated by his wife, Vicki Takamori, “Akio Takamori: Portraits and Sleepers” runs through May 6.
Takamori was a professor at University of Washington for more than 20 years and helped build a ceramics program which became highly-sought after by art students nationwide. Takamori’s work was heavily inspired by his Japanese heritage, as well as art historical movements and cultural events. In August 2014, Takamori completed a visiting artist residency at Museum of Glass, where he created work inspired by head-shaped ancient Roman glass flasks. These flasks, popular during the second and third century AD, were created using molds to shape the glass. This technique, using his ceramic sculptures as the basis for the glass molds, allowed Takamori to bring his expertise in ceramics to the creation of glass sculptures. Each glass piece is also embellished with enamel paints, creating a pictorial surface which plays with the transparency and opacity of the glass.
Takamori received the Grand Prize Coney Award from the 2016 Museum of Glass Red Hot Auction and Gala, which included a five-day residency in the Hot Shop. Unfortunately, Takamori was not able to complete this residency before his death. To recognize the legacy and influence of Takamori, Museum of Glass, in conjunction with Vicky Takamori, has invited one of Takamori’s students to fulfill the residency. Artist Timea Tihanyi will be in the Museum’s Hot Shop April 11-15.
Tihanyi is a Hungarian-born interdisciplinary visual artist living and working in Seattle. She is the founder and director of Slip Rabbit, a digital ceramics studio in Seattle, which focuses on research with 3D printed porcelain. Tihany’s primary material is porcelain because of its sensual fragility and resilience. During her residency, she will be exploring mathematically-inspired forms and ways in which blown and hot-sculpted glass can be combined with porcelain.

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