Few weeks ago I happen to visit a little shop in Milan, Italy specialized in Asian furnitures, tableware and decoration: MAME Milano.
There is a wonderful collection, but a couple of vases attracted then my attention: some of them looks like made in a style that recalls Japanese taste for vases, but indeed I found they are made in Italy! The author or, better, the ceramic master is Polly Ceramics.
However, I have had the chance to call and meet her the week after my visit to MAME. She gave me a wider view on her art projects and inspiration that nowadays comes from a globalized world, but with a particular attention to the process and sustainable business. By travelling and collecting small amount of clay and material in Italy, for example near rivers and caves, Polly is keen in portraying nature in a variety of shapes, her style is organic but always with attention to the perfect harmony of lines. Her glazes are patiently developed and chosen to get special textures and effects.
That day, during a brief interview, I see her love an passion for creating unique pieces only addressed to real art collectors, not for the mass market for sure. I hope she will make her business grown for good, since I see the link between a globalized culture and love towards art in every shape. A vase, a jar and rice bowl or any ornamental shapes created by Polly Ceramics have a magical specific weight and texture; by touching them you will be given a sensorial experience that will bring your memories up to the surface of our consciousness.
However, take some time to pass by the wonderful Milan and visit MAME in via Pier Capponi 4, 20145 and see the beautiful collection of the shop, very unique in the business city of Italy.
Rika Akahori is a Japanese sculptress from Gifu, who started sculpting motivated by a feeling of a “Lack of Self”, a need to feel her creativity, as she says to me.
Lack of the Self. What does it mean?
Sculpting is creating shapes from a shapeless material, something that is tied to aesthetics of course: if human beings weren’t touched by sculptures, it would be totally unnecessary.
To give something a shape is very similar giving a birth, when watching her at work is just like a mother with her child. Rika’s sculptures are perfectly smooth in her calibrated hands. I saw her molding clay once at Cova’s Art School, in Milan’s Corso Vercelli, and watching her became a spiritual experience: she was carefully and gently caressing the clay to bring forth the shape she desired.
Most of Rika’s artwork reminds us roundcurves like rain drops or even tears. They are so fragile that it is hard to believe that a human hand made them. Her favourite artwork is “Harmony”.
The choice of the material is also important, it is what an artist expresses himself through. All her work “It is like a self-portrait, well, kind of”.
Then she tells me: “I don’t like using chemical components much. I’d much rather keep close to Nature, as far as I can”.
The materials she likes: bronze, ceramic, wood.
“I believe my hands blend in well with these materials. I think there’s some kind of affinity between us”.
Future plans? Rika would love to have her own laboratory: “When I’m back to Japan, I would like to have a large space, with white walls. A space where only light, darkness and volume exist: no decoration, only essencial form”.
“I would like my place to give me comfort, to give strength to live! Let me sleep in peace”.
After six years in Italy, Rika has got back to her hometown in Japan. Life is quite different there, but she is readapting herself well.
And now, I’m waiting for the day when she lets me know that she has found her caring corner.