Artist cited for ceramics

Gary Linehan, The Union Democrat

Columbia artist Harry Nakamoto has been included in a new book, "Wood-Fired Ceramics - 100 Contemporary Artists."

Written by Amedeo Salamoni and published nationally by Schiffer, the book covers 248 pages in hardback and sells for $59.99.

"With over 500 brilliant color photographs, this book highlights the work of 100 innovative ceramic artists who still use the labor intensive, and sometimes unpredictable, process of wood-firing," the book jacket states.

The artists, drawn from around the world, share examples of their works as well as stories about their inspirations, influences and techniques.

"My pottery training began at San Jose State with a minor in ceramic art as part of my undergraduate work and culminated with my master's exhibit, under the guidance of James Lovera," Nakamoto said.

He and his wife, Florence, were introduced to wood firing at an anagama - or cave kiln - in Elkton, Ore.

"Each firing required a 10-day stay at the kiln site," Nakamoto said. "After making two trips annually for about five years, I discovered a relatively new anagama on the outskirts of San Jose which shortened my firing trips considerably. Another three years later, I designed and built my own anagama in Columbia. Wood firing is still time consuming but I no longer need to leave home to participate."

The Nakamotos have taken several pottery tours to Asia, most often to Japanese studios but also to China and South Korea.

Nakamoto earned a bachelor's degree in molecular biology and master's degree in ceramic art from San Jose State University.

He is a former assistant professor of ceramic art at Cal State Stanislaus and an occasional adjunct ceramics instructor at Columbia College.

He also is a member of the San Joaquin Potters Guild in Stockton and an emeritus member of the Association of Clay and Glass Artists in San Francisco.

His work can be seen at the Petroglyphe Gallery in Mokelumne Hill and at his studio gallery by appointment.

For more information, call 533-2582 or email .

The Union Democrat
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