Studio Kotokoto first featured Hanako Nakazato in September last year. Since then, her elegantly crafted pottery have taken pride of place in my kitchen and are constantly being used.
As Hanako was about to depart for her annual six-month pilgrimage back to Japan and her studio in Karatsu in Kyushu, We were fortunate to get our hands on another collection of her new porcelain works.
Before coming across Hanako’s porcelain, I had always preferred to use stoneware on my dining table. This is because while porcelain is prized for its hardness and pristine beauty, it can seem cold, overly formal, and a little intimidating for use by a casual cook like me.
So using Hanako’s creations for the first time was a revelation. Contrary to preconceived notions, her porcelain work is unpretentious and full of warmth and elegance. It is also easy to glimpse the depth of her skill from the suggestion of fluent speed and rhythm that are left in the grooves of her wares. There is no hesitation in the strokes, just simple grace.
Whenever I use Hanako’s wares, I am always impressed that they do not discriminate what they are being used to serve. Even a piece of cut fruit is inviting in her oval bowl. With any type of food looking so appealing on her wares, it is little wonder that she has become a firm favorite in my kitchen.
As we at Studio Kotokoto and her growing legions of admirers await her return to the U.S. this summer, we will be following her blog to catch a glimpse of her life in the idyllic pottery town of Karatsu. Her blogs are often funny and accompanied by beautiful photographs. If you have the time, I highly recommend that you visit her website too.
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