Akira Satake

Curator's Statement:

This exhibition arguably features some of the most talented potters working within the US today, together with special guest artist, Japanese Master Potter Ken Matsuzaki.  Some of the American potters (Jeff Shapiro, Randy Johnston, Peter Callas and Tim Rowen) have lived and studied in pottery towns such as Bizen, Mashiko and Shigaraki, honing their art in accordance with Japanese aesthetics and then bringing back to the States Japanese techniques of making and firing.  These potters have influenced ceramic trends in the US and Europe, and even had an impact on the new generation of potters in Japan.


My vision for this exhibition was to also include potters who did not have a direct connection with Japan.  However, I feel strongly that all the participants share an innate sense of the importance of “Ma,” which is Japanese for “the space between.”  Each artist succeeds in bringing out the beauty they find in the clay and creating something organically expressive; timeless and yet totally of the moment.


In the history of Ikebana practice there has always been the search for and appreciation of new styles of vessels to bring a breath of fresh air and new inspiration to Ikebana practitioners. This exhibition expounds on that dynamic, challenging both the potters and the Ikebana artists to honor the traditions of the Ikebana schools while collaborating on new directions of creative expression to enhance the future of the exquisite marriage of ceramics and flower arrangement.  


"A Time to Flower

Carolina Home and Garden, June 28, 2018



Ikebana vessels by Akira Satake with arrangements by Emiko Suzuki


Satake Bio:

Akira Satake was born in Osaka, Japan, and has been living in the U.S. since 1983.  He has taught masterclasses and workshops across the country including at Peters Valley, Penland School of Craft, Arrowmont Craft School, Touchstone Center for Craft, among many others. He has also lectured and taught workshops in Australia, Belgium, England, France and Israel. He received the National Award for Excellence in Contemporary Craft by the Philadelphia Museum. His work is held by the Mint Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Phillips Collection.  


The Philadelphia Museum awarded Satake the National Award for Excellence in Contemporary Clay. A Craftsman’s Legacy – a national television series on PBS, featured his life and work. 


Satake lives in Asheville, North Carolina where he recently opened a new gallery space. He is also an accomplished banjo player and composer with numerous recording and awards.