Characteristics of the Galaxy Glaze

Characteristics of "Gingayu"

The array of colours displayed in the Galaxy Glaze are formed by the various metal elements in the glaze crystallizing under the extreme heat of the kiln. This process is designed to replicate the infinite twinkling of the stars. The particles of various metal elements in the glaze crystallize during a stage of gradual reheating after being subjected to extreme temperatures in the kiln (with highs of up to 1280°C). Galaxy Glaze belongs to the group of iridescent crystalline glazes including others such as oil spotted black glaze (Yuteki Temmoku), Blackish “hareʼs fur” glaze (Nogime Temmoku) and iridescent spotted black glaze (Yohen Temmoku). While the black glazesʼ (Temmoku) colour derives from two abundantly used metal elements, iron and manganese, Galaxy Glaze aims to have more complex crystallization by containing various metal elements with the exception of gold, silver, platinum and lead. This creates a wide range of beautiful colours and forms crystals which give an enchanting depth, more than the ordinary Temmoku. Similar to opals, all the crystals are different in colour and size. The creation of the Galaxy Glaze required an in-depth knowledge of the field of pottery. Furthermore, it needs the skills to gauge changes in the environment, such as humidity and temperature, while simultaneously adjusting the kilns to these factors. This ensures the control of the firing and glazing process. However, due to the unpredictability of the environment the process to combine expectation and reality still remains difficult, and presents a daily struggle for the artist. No two Galaxy Glaze creations are the same. Due to the sensitivity and complexity of the glaze each item displays a unique array of colours and patterns, each as magnificent as a jewel. As the glaze is formed through a firing process the finish does not peel or fade with time. This endurance of the pieces means that the items are also microwaveable and oven-proof. The shapes of Tetsuakiʼs ceramics add to the individuality of the pieces. The vases, bowls, utensils and tableware are created from his skills and wealth of experience. His masterpieces are second to none in quality and beauty.

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Profile

Nakao Tetsuaki

 

1952

Born in Takeo City, Saga Prefecture, Japan. Started undergraduate degree of Philosophy in the Faculty of Letters of Keio University

1982

Decided to be a ceramic artist and was selected for Japan Contemporary Arts and Crafts Association Exhibition

1992

Works archived at the Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Beijing and the Guanyao Museum, Hangzhou (China)

1994

Parallel exhibition with “Kitaoji, Rosanjin” at the Denver Art Museum, Colorado (USA). Currently housed as a permanent collection

1999

Selected for the Japanese Art exhibition in Amsterdam in celebration of the 400 Year Anniversary of JapanDutch Relations and awarded “Art Union Holland prize”. Ceramics exhibition “Contemporary Arita & Meissen” Selected for Art gallery exhibition at Albrecht Castle Museum (Meissen, Germany).

2001

Awarded the “Premio de Arte A.M.S.C. Espana” by the Art Maison Selecting Committee Invited to be the Japanese representative to exhibit at the 5th Monaco Japanese Culture Festival upon the recommendation of President of Honor of the Society of Artists PAUL AMBILLE. Awarded the Principality of Monaco Honorary prize by the AAD-council-Monaco

2003

Exhibited at the Revolution in Art exhibition at the Louvre Museum (France) Awarded “Prix de La Porte des Lions” and special prize “Prix Tricolore de la Paix de lʼArt”. Exhibited at the 2nd Turkey-Japan contemporary art world exhibition 2003 at Istanbul Topkai Palace (Turkey) Granted the Ottoman Empire art decoration Awarded “The Glory of Neo Renaissance Art in Firenze” and “Premio Costanza deʼ Medici per la Art” prize Specially invited to exhibit at the Vatican Cityʼs “Vatican Divine Creation exhibition” Exhibited specially to Galeria Della Pigna

2007

Invited to exhibit at the Moscow International Art Exposition Awarded “The Russian Academy of Arts Secretary of the Organizing Committee Award” Private exhibition at a Queen Victoria gallery London Exhibited the first one man show in a foreign country at the Chelsea Old Hall London Exhibited at the Heart Art in BARCELONA ‒ Spain & Japan art Exchange Festival Awarded “The Barcelona Ceramic Art Foundation” prize Debuted Galaxy Glaze vases in Bonhams International Contemporary Ceramics auction

2008

First solo art exhibition abroad at London Queens Victoria Gallery in London 

Exhibited on Bonhams「International Contemporary Ceramics」

2010

Received Art Cup of Princesses under the patronage of H.R.H Princess Somsawali of Thailand Exhibited at the interchange festival in Hungary as recommended by the museum director for the Louvre Exhibited for Hungary Culture Art Honorary Artists prize and awarded Heart Art in Budapest Exhibited Tetsuaki Nakao and the Galaxy Glaze solo exhibition at Fukuoka Art Museum

2011

Tea bowls exhibited at London Christieʼs Auction, Japanese Art & Design including Arts of The Samurai

2012

Tea bowls exhibited at London Christieʼs Auction, The Japanese Aesthetic

2013

A stoneware vase exhibited at London Christieʼs Auction, Asobi

2019

"Galaxy Odyssey" was exhibited at "Museum of 26 Martyrs of Japan" in Nagasaki when the Pope visited Japan

Interview Article

Interview from the magazine “Tottoto” Nov 2006, Vol 28 pp.12-13

 
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Chasing my dream

From scholar to potter

“I used to want to be a scholar, studying social sciences” In Tetsuaki Nakaoʼs art there is always the theme of passing the message through art. His message was influenced by his philosophical studies at university. Born in the town of Yamauchi, Takeo, in 1952, Mr. Nakao aspired to be a philosopher or sociologist. “Student activism was popular among my generation and I was influenced by this. When I was young I wanted to be a scholar. However, once I became a university student, I realized that there was a huge gap between my ideal and the reality to being a scholar at university. At that time I had lost my dream and struggled to figure out what I actually wanted to do with my life. Soon after this I saw my father and other craftsmen working tirelessly at the workshop to create their pottery and then I decided I was going to be a potter. I left university and started to train and follow the family business. I still read a lot of books about philosophy, social science etc, and discuss ideas with teachers and friends from university.” From his appearance, I got the impression that deep down, he is still more of a philosopher than a potter.

 
 
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Creating the Galaxy Glaze

I wish to create pottery that captures the beauty of the universe. 

The Galaxy Glaze is the result of metal crystallizing after being heated at a high temperature (between 1200°C ‒ 1250°C) in a purpose built kiln. This is a type of iridescent crystalline glaze which Tetsuaki himself named ʻGalaxy Glazeʼ ʻAs soon as I started my recovery from retinal detachment I began to read books about glazes and pottery from all over the world. I experimented countless times with different mixtures, continuously exploiting more and more data to further the research. I treated the project as a scientific experiment. It took 5 years to create the first Galaxy Glaze, and even more to perfect the end product.ʼ ʻIt is still a hard task, creating the Galaxy Glaze I envision. Unpredictable elements, such as the humidity of the kilns, have an important role in its creation. The Galaxy Glaze was created after many years of research and experimentation, with great patience. When I finally saw it I was in awe.ʼ ʻThe Glazy Glaze is actually very similar to jewellery. If I take a ruby or emerald for example, their colours are different due to the refraction index. The colours differ based on the arrangement of the atoms. For this reason there are five different kilns for each colour in the Gyokuhou workshop.ʼ He (Mr Nakao) says ʻThere are two sides to my work, the artistic side and the scientific side. Kilns are not always stable, so it is very hard to create a specific colour. You cannot give up, even when you feel you have no control of the kilnʼs reactions.ʼ Almost as if he is a chemist. The crystallization of the glaze gives off an almost jewel-like beauty. It requires him to not only have a knowledge of the science but also the skills to predict the unpredictable. His journey to create the perfect pottery continues.

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The message I passed onto Galaxy Glaze. The message I passed onto Galaxy Glaze.

The Japanese painter Hiroshi Senjyu said in his interview that all the artists in New York are now on the edge of despair. Mr. Senjyu added, “After experiencing 9/11, the artists should have taken the role of alleviating pain from peoplesʼ minds and present the sympathy felt towards both the attackers and the victims. Yet, they lacked the purpose. After the 9/11 terrorist attack, art such as those created by Cézanne and Gaudí, widely recognised in history, encouraged and healed the peoplesʼ broken hearts. Art has been able to give hope and encourage people, as well as heal the mind, regardless of the differences which divide us; the border, religion and ideology.” I indeed wish to pass on this message within Galaxy Glaze. To have love and liberty, take the same role as that of the art in history. Mr. Nakao explains passionately, “Surely, I can do this by inventing a new glaze, never before seen in history.”