Artist Spotlight

Behind the Scenes with Yukiya Izumita
January 15, 2022
Artist Spotlight
One of the best parts about working at Ippodo Gallery is being so close to the artist we collaborate with. We are fortunate enough to get a glimpse into the life of the artist Yukiya Izumita. Thanks to photos and video clips made by his son, we as appreciators can witness the magic unfold. 

 Ripples of cool water glide along the rocks and pebbles behind Izumita's house. The stream's crisp fresh air and sound welcome the birds to sing their melody and fill nature's orchestra. Notice how the organic texture of the rocks cracks and crevises creep into Izumita's work.

 

 

 Ripples of cool water glide along the rocks and pebbles behind Izumita's house. The stream's crisp fresh air and sound welcome the birds to sing their melody and fill nature's orchestra. Notice how the organic texture of the rocks cracks and crevises creep into Izumita's work.

 

 

 

Once Izumita gathers inspiration from nature, he then puts pencil to paper and illustrates what comes from his imagination. Here we see his strong yet delicate hands flip through many ideas that have come into fruition over the last couple of months. Can you spot any works that are in the gallery? 

 

 

 

 

 

Here we see Izumita's sketch is drawn on paper. He gently pinches the ends together after he rolls out the thin layers and lines them up. His index fingers smooth out the layers and flatten the clay. 

 

 

 

 

Slowly adding bits of clay, Izumita rhythmically taps the surface into the shape he desires. "I exist through my connection with the clay,' he says. 'When I concentrate on this connection, I become free. When I confront the clay, everything is in a state of chaos, but as I discover a good rhythm between myself and the clay, new works are born. My work consists of becoming aware of this rhythm." - Yukiya Izumita

 

 

 

Here we see Izumita gently flatten a perfectly rolled out piece of clay over the layers. Notice how the clay sticks to his fingers and moistens the table. Imagine the scent of salt-rich clay. See the light rolling pin? Can you feel the weight of it as he uses it to smooth out the surface before he lifts it and applies it to the piece?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that the front is complete, Izumita builds up the back. He first heats a large handful of clay. Squeezing and clenching his fist, he works the clay upward. Then he uses his long fingers to dance across the surface and flatten the piece to the desired thickness. After flipping the section over, he attaches it to the front work at a forty-five-degree angle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here Izumita rolls out the other side of the back and slices the edge to perfectly align with the other half. "When I decide to express something through clay, I look for my answer in its roughness or fragility, its ephemerality, and its tension or lightness." – Yukiya Izumita

 

 

 

 

With the blade of a wooden tool, Izumita smoothes the edges and corners. He carefully creates a sharp point at the top of the piece. Notice how all the sides appear from a single piece of clay. 

 

 

 

 

 

Izumita packs the crevises with balls of newspaper which supports the piece as it is drying. He then tips the piece upright and removes the paper, revealing the finished work. Here is the link to view the piece. 

 

 

 

About the author

Lillian Stafford

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