Made in Japan – High quality pottery by Japanese Artist, You Shimizu (Part 1)



You Shimizu (清水陽)

You Shimizu (pronounced as Yō Shē mē zü) is a potter living in Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture (Japan).

After graduating from University in 1982, he started his pottery career in Seto city, which is a famous area for china and he also worked as a pottery teacher in Tokyo. Since 1994, he began his own pottery in Izu and held exhibitions in many places in Japan. He mainly creates items that can be used on a daily basis such as the tableware or flower vase.


YouCoJAPAN members were lucky to have stumbled upon Shimizu’s exhibition at Akasaka, and spent some time getting to understand how he created such beautiful artworks.

In collaboration with a local florist, Shimizu worked with Marie Nakamura (中村まりえ)  to bring some life into the exhibition by her floral arrangement skills.


Pottery is divided into two groups, called the “Toki (China)” and “Jiki (Porcelain)” that are made from different clay. The clay that Shimizu uses is called the Jiki. It generally becomes hard, rigid and texturized after baking because the clay has little impurities and needs high temperature for baking.


” He paid more attention into the baking process to maintain the softness of the end product “


As such, Shimizu paid more attention into the baking process to maintain the softness of the end-product. This was a difficult challenge but he was able to do it because he invested a lot of time and energy into perfecting his technique to create quality products.



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” Pottery sounded interesting because it is very difficult “

How did Shimizu, who was interested in handmade items, got himself interested in pottery? In his mind, he knew that he would be bored with something that was not challenging. Pottery sounded interesting to him because it is very difficult.

And spending over 30 years of his life pursuing his career, he is convinced that he had been right about his decision.



“ To never imitate any completed product ”


Shimizu always carries this belief in mind, to “never imitate any completed product”. He said, if he does that, the next product will be just a copy (replica) and its quality world will be worse than the model because the original idea in his mind has already faded. So whenever he tries to re-create any products, he would always try to recall the first image in his mind.



It is interesting to know that so much thought actually goes through the mind of a Pottery Artist when creating an artwork. As such, we are not surprised that Shimizu’s artwork carries the “Made in Japan” standard when it comes to the quality of the product.

To find out more about You Shimizu’s artwork, click here!