Toshiko Takaezu – Double-Spouted Vase

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© the Artist. Photograph by R. H. Hensleigh and Tim Thayer.

Toshiko Takaezu

Double-Spouted Vase, circa 1958

Born 1922, Pepeeko, Hawaii; Cranbrook Academy of Art (CAA), Teaching Assistant, Department of Ceramics, 1953–1954; CAA MFA, Department of Ceramics, 1954; died 2011, Honolulu, Hawaii
14 ⅝ x 17 ⅜ x 7 ⅜ inches
Gift of Eliel G. and Daniel A. Redstone in honor of Ruth R. and Louis G. Redstone (CAA Master of Architecture, 1948)
CAM 2002.49

With a few deft alterations to the traditional vase form, Toshiko Takaezu transforms the function of a vase from that of holding flowers to holding its own as ceramic sculpture. Like a dividing biomorphic shape with nipple-like bumps and lush brown glazes, the work assumes a dynamic quality. In other vessel forms, such as her Moon Pot, Takaezu would finalize the transformation from utilitarian vessel to sculptural form by closing the opening altogether while retaining the beauty and power of the space-containing form.

This Double-Spouted Vase is a rare creation and the last one of its kind Takaezu created in the 1950s. The body of the form and the two spouts were thrown separately on a potter’s wheel and then joined together by hand. Although completed a few years after Takaezu left Cranbrook as a student, it beautifully represents the groundbreaking work she completed under the tutelage of master ceramist Maija Grotell.

David D.J. Rau
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Category(s): Ceramics

Decade(s): 1950s

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