‘The Beauty of Utility,’ or yo-no-bi, is the best way to sum up the essence of Mashiko pottery. The areas pottery has a plump, durable texture that comes from the grainy clay found around the Mashiko, Tochigi area.
Yasuhiro Sasaki is both an originator and master of the Mashiko style. He honed his skill at a pottery school run by the city of Mashiko and promptly launched his career in ceramic art. Sasaki enjoys that he can single handedly shape an object from scratch, glaze it, fire it, and offer it up for sale.
Ever since he set up a small workshop 16 years ago; he has explored creating the pottery of his dreams through trial and error. He says he likes the finished objects; but that he never tires of the process of production itself.
Sasaki works with local clay and traditional Mashiko color glazes such as: kaki-yu (persimmon), nukajiro-yu (milky white), seiji-yu (celadon), namijiro-yu (standard white), and honguro-yu (black). He likes to make practical everyday items that live up to the name Mashiko ware. Using Mashiko materials, he says, naturally produces that thick, plump form. His shelves are lined with pottery fresh out of the kiln that cherish the heritage and climate of Mashiko.