Hitomi Hosono

Born 1978, Gifu Prefecture, Japan

“It is my intention to transfer the leaf’s beauty and detail into my ceramic work, using it as my own language to weave new stories for objects.”

Hitomi Hosono’s detailed porcelain vessels reference the natural world and botanical specimens. With a chalk-like finish and gold embellishments, the work captivates with its delicacy and has attracted the patronage of curators from the British Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum.

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Working in London

1998-2002   Kanazawa College of Art, Kanazawa, Japan, BA I(Hons)
2005-2006   Danmarks Designskole, Copenhagen, Denmark, Ceramics Design Course
2007-2009   Royal College of Art, London, MA Ceramics and Glass
2017-2018   Artist in Residence, Wedgwood

“I receive inspiration from greenery in East London. Often when rambling with my friend, I discover interesting plants; touching them to feel the texture and to examine the structure.

My technique was initially inspired by Wedgwood’s Jasperware, pioneered by Josiah Wedgwood over 200 years ago, in which thin ceramic reliefs or ‘sprigs’ were applied as surface decoration to a piece. First, I design a leaf or flower sprigs by studying organic botanical forms. I analyse the plant forms by looking, touching and drawing. I examine how the veins of a leaf branch and how its edges are shaped. After the completion of original sprig models and the plaster moulds, I press-mould hundreds of leaf sprigs in porcelain and carefully and patiently carve the finer details. I then apply the porcelain leaves in layers onto a form thrown on a potter’s wheel.  I apply the leaves so densely that the underlying shape is entirely hidden, like the multitude of green leaves which obscure the branches of a tree.

A large piece takes around 1 year and 6 months for the whole process. A half year to develop new sprig design and the mould, about one month to complete the porcelain piece itself and about 10-12 months to dry slowly. A small piece takes approximately 4 months to complete, dry, fire and gild. In another strand of my work, I apply delicately moulded and carved leaf and flower sprigs onto small ceramic boxes, enveloping the practical shapes in these natural forms.  After high firing, I often gild the insides of these boxes to add to the precious quality of these personal sized objects.”

Hitomi Hosono has work in the following public collections:

Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums, Aberdeen
National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
Oriental Museum, Durham University, Durham
The British Museum, London
The Wedgwood Collection, Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Musée des arts décoratifs de la faïnce et de la Mode, Marseille, France
Musée national des arts asiatiques – Guimet, Paris, France
Porzellanikon: Staatliches Museum für Porzellan, Selb, Germany
Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, New York, USA
Indianapolis Museum of Art: Newfields, Indiana, USA
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California, USA