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Hiroe Hanazono

Teaching Artist - Current

Artist Statement:

My desire as an artist is to create pots that serve not only as a vehicle for the presentation of food but also to transcend visual pleasure and to stimulate appetite. The work I make is a pedestal for food. My intention is to reinforce the act of eating as a vital component of everyday life, to enrich our appreciation of the food and to enhance the ambiance of one’s space, one’s home environment.

I create work that consists of simple line forms with muted glaze colors. The work’s minimal aesthetic does not compete with one’s domestic surroundings. I am especially fascinated with design that is clean and almost severe in its simplicity. I am attracted to certain aspects of modern interior design and architecture for the ways in which they frame the contents of space. Architects must consider how people and furniture fit into the overall design, while with pottery, the vessels must enhance the presentation of the food that they will eventually contain. The minimal design of my forms, create an ideal setting for the horizontal display of food. Simple forms allow for the potential of beautiful relationships between the space and the elements contained within them.

For me, repetition of simple geometric shapes and lines goes beyond the idea of decoration and becomes an element that blends into the form. Patterned geometric shapes can be quiet in the way that they integrate with the vessel and with the visual space that it contains. The patterns that I create could be used for the design of the forms of my pots. They could also be rendered subtly in low relief on the surface of my pots without interfering with presentation. I use slip casting in the creation of my forms because it best satisfies my intent to create immaculately executed, unusual forms. I begin by carving out a wooden pattern, from which I then create a plaster mold off of the pattern. The porcelain slip is then poured into the plaster mold. Proportions of volume in forms such as serving dishes, plates, cups and bowls are carefully considered when I design my work.

The combination of the vessel’s surface and form, along with the diverse colors and textures in food, create a unified whole by which the act of eating becomes filled with a pleasant awareness. Through these investigations, my pots become an extension of a sensory and communal experience, the act and art of dining.


Hiroe Hanazono, a native of Japan, received her BA in Spatial Art and Ceramics from California State University, Hayward California in 2003, and her MFA in Ceramics from the School of Art, Ohio University, Athens Ohio in 2008.

She has been an artist-in-residence at the Archie Bray Foundation, the International Ceramic Research Center in Denmark, and The Clay Studio where she awarded the 2008-2009 Evelyn Shapiro Foundation Fellowship.

Hiroe makes highly designed functional tableware. While building a thriving studio practice in her Philadelphia home studio, she has continued to teach a variety of ceramics classes in the region and exhibit work nationally. Hiroe is currently an instructor at The Clay Studio's School.