Yoshi Fujii | Episode 261
Yoshi Fujii received a B.F.A from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2002 and a M.F.A. from Southern Illinois University in 2008. Yoshi was selected as a recipient of the 2008-09 Lormina Salter Fellowship from Baltimore Clayworks where he currently serves as a resident artist, instructor, and gallery manager.
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How do you keep yourself fresh and engaged in your work with such a busy life?
I think it is important for me to have something totally outside of this clay circle. So I go to work at Clay Works, my studio is at Clay Works too. So I go there seven days and I know staff, of course, and I hang out with resident artists but I can’t be with them all the time. So I have a completely different set of friends and that is a great refresher for me.
Who is it that you really look up to?
My old time ceramic god and goddess is Nick Joerling and Kristen Kieffer. And all the friends that I met throughout this career have influenced me, not necessarily the work itself but by the way they are who they are.
What makes a great pot?
Good question. What makes a good pot? The pot that I want to touch maybe. To live with. I want to live with it. I want to own it and not have anyone else own it. If I want to have it I think that makes a good pot.
What makes your pot great?
Oh man, can I pass? What do you think? (laughter)
(Paul: I think the carvings are stunning. I like the proportion of your work. I like your celadon glazes, the way they break and pool. )
People will come by and just look at my work and just pass by. you know. they think it is made by a mold or a machine. And I think it is the ultimate complement to me. I want my hand to do the job that a machine would do. It is interesting to me that a lot of people cherish this handmade object,my work is handmade, but I want it to look the same.
How do you feel about playing with clay. not having the end in mind just playing and experimenting?
I started playing with dark clay now. Dark stoneware. Porcelain is great, and nice and pure and white, and the technique I use even though it takes a long time to finish each piece I enjoy it. But sometimes I want something to go in a totally opposite direction. I bought some boxes of clay from a local company and just started making this rough, really chocolaty brown clay. Then I made some really fast, quick pots and that was definitely enjoyment.
Give us some insight, what is your morning routine like from the time you get out of bed until you go to work?What does your morning look like?
I do have some collection of cups but I do use my own too. So I am testing my own work. So I have a glass of water and orange juice out of it. I mean it is not really exciting because I am single and by myself so I get up in the morning and just have a little water or coffee and whatever. Then I jump into the shower and get ready to go to work, so how exciting is it right? My morning ritual is not as exciting as other people’s.