Two Ceramic Artists to Note


Today I want to bring two ceramic artists that are at the forefront of the contemporary ceramic scene. Kaori Tatebayashi is from Japan but lives in London and Derek Wilson is Irish with a studio in Belfast.



Kaori Tatebayashi grew up surrounded by the great ceramic artists of her native Japan. As a young girl, she traveled with her grandfather who sold ceramics from his shop in Arita (a city known for its ceramic wares). Now living in London, her work continues to reflect the timeless elegance of Japanese ceramics while infusing them with a contemporary edge.



Kaori has a versatile repertoire – she creates everything from exquisite vases and tableware to stunning sculpture. She draws on a limited palette of colors focusing on black, white and grey in varying subtle tones and shades. Part of the beauty of ceramics is that the hand of the artist is so apparent in the work and this can be seen in Kaori’s textured finishes. The plate shown above has the beautiful mottling of soft sand, while her vases could almost be stitched leather. Her cups and saucers actually address one issue I have ALWAYS had with saucers – their lack of space when the cup is on them. Glad to see I’m not alone!!!



Derek Wilson’s work is as contemporary as it comes, yet it’s still made the traditional way with each piece starting life on the potter’s wheel. I love the colorful covered jars shown here – beautifully glazed and punctuated by the ribbon of white clay between cover and body. Derek says that his pieces are meant to be placed in groups. I would love to see a few grouped on a rustic wood tray in a kitchen or a guest bedroom and filled with snacks!



His tipsy bowls are also exquisitely crafted and have a wonderfully carefree quality to them. They are not so serious that they can’t be used – like in a guest bath filled with bath products. It’s the perfect example of using handsome, handmade objects instead of the boring, expected container from the big box stores. Every aspect of design reflects back on the homeowner, so try to make your story as interesting as you can.



Kaori Tatebayashi and Derek Wilson are two ceramic artists building on the traditions of the past and using them in new and creative ways to bring beauty into our homes today. The work of these ceramic artists allows us to incorporate color and texture into our rooms by adding unexpected touches that help our spaces stand out from that of the neighbors. Ceramics are one accessory that can be truly versatile.

Richard Rabel is a New York Interior Designer and Principal at Richard Rabel: Interiors+ Art, a studio offering residential design, decorating and art advising.

image credit: ceramic artists Kaori Tatebayashi, London; Derek Wilson, Belfast