Oceans Formed: Glass Works by Midori Tsukada


To the Forest, Wind and Ocean Depths

 Shoko Aono

 When I first saw works by Midori Tsukada, my immediate impressions were of the forest, the wind, and the sea.  The refreshing scent of the new leaves experienced when walking through the forest.  A form resembling the draping aurora becomes light and stretches freely up into the skies.   An organic chaos spreads across the surface of the glass and we feel drawn into the depths of a deep, blue sea.  It presents a primitive world that we feel we may or may not have seen before.    

When creating her works Midori Tsukada starts by laying copper, silver, gold or other metallic foils on top of a sheet of glass welding them to the surface, various colors and textures being created through chemical reactions within the kiln.  Like ceramic glazes, they are free of the artificial control and are the result of an entirely natural mechanism.  Midori Tsukada takes the shapes resulting from a dialog with gravity during numerous firings, then cuts, shaves and polishes them, delicately weaving multiple strata of color.  

It is said that life first appeared on Earth as a result of the complicated intermeshing of numerous different elements within the water.  Looking at Tsukada’s glass, we are able to visualize just how this must have appeared.  The tension and bounty that exists in the moment of birth.  The order and capriciousness of the universe.  If we strain our ears we can hear the nostalgic sound of the ocean depths.  

Press release

Ippodo Gallery is pleased to present “ Oceans Formed : Glass works by Midori Tsukada.”  20 will be on view for May 24 - June 21, a must-see presentation of exceptional glass and copper creations.


After years of study in both glass and welded metalwork, Midori Tsukada (b. 1972) has mastered a skillful technique that reveals pale blues and greens through a naturally occuring copper oxidation process, with occasional hints of silver and gold. The colors evolve free-form on cool toned glass, as the hues and beads evoke the gentle mist of an ocean spray, or the dew from rainfall on a forest’s leaf. This effect is delicate and ephemeral on the translucent glass, capturing a fleeting feeling even as the permanence and deceptive durability of the materials endures.  


To Tsukada, that glass is a relatively new material in the field of ceramic expression brims with potential for diversity of expression. In this experimentation, the layered metals are highly unique, with an air at once of unpredictability and mystery. During the firing process, the slow heat of the kiln curves the shape of the glass, and Tsukada gathers this shape in the final result of the object, accounting for the natural rhythms and whims of the shifting form.


In the spontaneity, each object tells its own story.  Natural Lace (2) suggests the curve of an ocean wave, with swirls of blue-green and flecks of gold underscored by a deep blue. Natural Lace (3) looks like a deep green pond, dipping darker into the base with beads of light green reminiscent of a surrounding forest. The open face of Natural Ground (4) curves like palms of a leaf, or open hands. The works speak; they tell stories. They allow us to question our own existence.


From ancient times, there has been a distinctly Japanese desire to coexist with nature. To capture the earthly sensations of wind and water, of forest and fire, has a profundity that does not translate to other cultures, and is hard to put into words. But the mission of artists like Tsukada is to listening the voice of nature, and attempt to achieve this heightened embodiment through art. In this, she finds her own voice, interacting with the natural world through her creations. It is the artist’s wish that the link between nature and self through glass will resonate with audiences around the world.

Installation Views