Keiko Matsui: Gunyah artist-in-residence February 2012

I stayed at Gunyah for a week in February 2012. I am a ceramic artist and normally work on a potter’s wheel with porcelain clay. Although I enjoy clay, I sometimes use different mediums to experiment and understand forms and textures that are important for exploring ceramics. The original proposal for my residency was to create vessels from fabric, tweed, and paper. However, I decided to focus only on paper this time. 

Keiko Matsui, Gunyah paper container, 2012

Making containers from paper was a lot easier and fun to play with. You don’t need to wait for the clay to be dry, no finger marks on the surface, no cracks, and no sagging. The angle of the cut changes the form, and how you connect parts is a key. It is almost like a combination of pattern making and origami.

Keiko Matsui, Scar vessels, 2011, porcelain 

The above image is my scar jug and scar cup. I call the seam “scar” as it resembles a human scar. When I make them, I use a potter’s wheel to create a cylinder form first, then cut the rim and put the cut parts together with slurry, leaving the slurry as it pushes out. The amount of slurry and varying strength I use when joining the parts changes the line of the seam. I like the combination of controlled form by wheel and uncontrolled slurry seam.

Keiko Matsui, Gunyah studio, 2012

When making vessels from paper, I realized that there are many new options for my work. Mixing slab work together with my existing wheel forms will enrich my work. Working with paper, from a flat paper to a 3D object, helps me to understand shapes and space. Obviously working with clay slab you need extra care - no air bubbles inside the clay, consistent thickness, and you need to know when to bend the slab.

Keiko Matsui, Gunyah paper vessels, 2012 

Keiko Matsui, Gunyah studio and drawings, 2012

Another exercise I did was drawing. Working on 2D from 3D stimulates my brain! I changed the angle of the paper vessels I made and drew them in order to observe their forms. 

Keiko Matsui, Gunyah paper vessels, 2012

Without distraction you could do many things even within a week. It rained almost every day during my stay, however it made a good atmosphere while working indoors. The Gunyah studio is located at the lower level of the house and faces the water.  As I cannot work with any noise, it was such a treat for me to enjoy the silence with the water view.  I would not have known this hidden place if I did not do this residency. Thank you Kath Fries and all the members of Gunyah.

Keiko Matsui, February 2012

Keiko Matsui, Working in the Gunyah studio, 2012

To see more of Keiko's work visit her website