John Ikeda

Region: Ontario
Born 1948, Alberta


John Ikeda is a ceramicist.

Artist Statement

i could have been born a wild colonial boy from W.0. Mitchell running through the wind of the barren desolate prairies. Instead, i was born a Japanese Canadian. my family of origin and emotional landscape is a memory of manual labour in the sugar beet fields of Lethbridge, Alberta. it was only until university days through formal education or perhaps more specifically an informal unconventional education through the colloquium studies Fine Arts B.A. program. through independent studies of the arts and psychology, i developed a language of understanding from a personal perspective of the influences within and upon my life and career. i was torn between a career in academia or the studio. i chose the latter pursuing the romance of becoming a potter-artist pioneering the bucolic lifestyle with the promise of independence, self-reliance, autonomy. all of my professors were american. at that time culturally were all the arts of cinema, literature, music, and television.  i felt an immediate connection to Van Gogh, the Impressionists and New York 70s abstraction minimalists. i was also drawn to an innate cultural understanding of Japanese ceramics and zen buddhism – a strange polarization of cultural influences and a perfect example of the ‘New Canadian’ story. i established my first studio in Lethbridge working in gas fired stoneware porcelain for 7 years. after a divorce, i undertook a sessional lecture teaching position for one term at john abbott college in Montreal. i established my current studio in St. Bernardin, Ontario in 1978.  it is my full time studio residence and hobby farm of 40 years, a childhood dream fulfilled. the recession of 1981-82 forced a creative change in approach to my work. i began exploring developing techniques within low fire white earthenware, employing vibrant colour relationships of lyrical abstraction. in future, i wish to diminish work upon deliberate surface manipulation decoration; to change technology yet again to wood-fire and the unembellished surface reliant upon the primordial forces of nature and fire. despite differing approaches over the years my aesthetic intent has remained constant which is to appreciate my 5 year old soul, the beauty of nature, the visual and emotional landscape through my continued exploration of ceramic murals, modern pottery, and ancient Japanese tea bowls. – May 24, 2017

TAGS: Craft |

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