Ceramics, beyond simply offering utility, bring to mind humans at their most elemental. Wonderfully imperfect and shaped by hand, each cup and bowl recalls the days before industry put its print-free fingers on everything en masse. In ceramics, then as now, the personality and skill of the maker is felt in a work’s wobbled lines, in its painterly glaze. In the case of Shino Takeda, that translates to pieces filled with a playfulness and cerebral wit.
Born and raised on Kyushu, an island in southern Japan, Takeda’s fondness for ceramics can be traced back to her earliest days. There, in a city long known for its pottery, Takeda inherited her mother’s affinity for art and ceramics. It was only later, after moving to New York City, that Takeda started creating her own. While working as a manager at Blue Ribbon Sushi, Takeda began producing ceramics on the side, gaining attention and acclaim for her colorful, eye-popping works.
Now a full-time ceramicist, her experience working in food continues to shape her approach. As in the culinary world, Takeda considers the seasonality of a work; she thinks about how colors should harmonize together, similar to the way one would plate a dish. To eat a meal on one of Takeda’s pieces, well, consider that an added bonus to whatever it is you’re having. Below, we head to Takeda’s art-filled Bed-Stuy residence to talk fatherly advice, #sorrynotsorry fast food indulgences, and a concert so good it inspired its own shape.
Place of residence:
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Hope I will be still making ceramics in NYC, but for fun not for a living!
Quote to live by:
“You don’t have to be smart, but don’t forget to smile and be affable.” — My dad
First job you ever had:
Pick up and bring the newspaper to my dad every morning. I think I was in preschool.
Least favorite part of your day:
Right after lunch at studio…
Windows down, the song you’re playing is:
“Good Vibrations” by Marky Mark & the Funky Bunch.
Three guilty pleasures:
I have lots of pleasures, but don’t necessarily feel guilty–although I know I’m supposed to feel guilty when I eat a McDonald’s fish fillet sandwich.
If you had to watch one movie on repeat for eternity, what would it be?
You have a million dollars to spend on art, you buy…
Pierre Bonnard, but is a million is enough?
Plane, train or automobile for a trip?
Train with a lots of snacks.
What IS your favorite trip?
Budapest, back in March 2006. When I arrived, I bought a map in the train station and wandered around. It was shortly after they joined EU; I felt so much energy and excitement from the young people. Without knowing it, I was in a peace protest. That was one of the memorable events I ever attended.
Personal travel ethos:
No research, no plan. Just get lost and walk around.
Drink of choice:
Beach house or tree house:
Where was the best meal you ever had and what was it?
Kaiseki meal (Japanese traditional multi-course meal) I had at Moriwaki in Kyoto. Tasty, visually beautiful. You can see/taste season through the meal. It was such an amazing experience.
What is the best news you ever received?
When I received my Green Card.
Who or what is largely overrated? Explain.
Trump, and I don’t think I need to explain…
Briefly describe the best concert you have ever gone to.
Yuka Honda did a trio with Yoshimi from Boredoms and Susie Ibarra. It was a crazy trip; the sounds became visual. I made a vase right after the show. I enjoy music very much and I get so much inspiration when I glaze, but it is very rare that the sounds become the shape of pot.
Where do you go for inspiration, peace of mind?
Noguchi Museum in LIC. It is still my favorite museum in the world.