Hiro Takahashi

Raku Message Box

As lockdown continued if I were commercialized and sales minded, I could have advertised my Raku Message Box online, like The best present to give family, friends and loved ones. Write your message and put in the Message Box. It would become everlasting special communication between sender and recipient! Somehow I didn t and couldn t.

In 2019, there was enormous fire in Amazon forest which made me desperately sad that I could not help nor rescue those birds and creatures living those area. I have been worrying environment damage since I was 15 years old. So those incidents attributed me to design and make models of animals and birds carefully with their environment. Message Box is my pray and thought for the world. So that is why I could not go to online sale and prefer people look at real one with their eyes.

Message box now and then

Making Message box has been very exciting theme for me. It s my invention, original and every piece is one off. I am fascinated with glazes crackled and produce antique-looking images, as well as the contrasts of colour and blackness where carbon filled the spaces with no glaze barrier.

For the handles, I explored various creatures to sit on top of the lids. They have been always main characters of the message box and a small ball of clay often tells me what it wants to become. I was pleased that the pieces served as lovely message carrier for people who wanted to give special written messages to give special written messages to others, just like my mother s secret Kokeshi-doll. Occasionally I felt I had to portray animals and birds in danger of declining because of their habitat was demolished. A few years ago, when part of the Amazon forest was on fire, I felt strong feeling of grief as if I lost those feathery friends I met many times in Tropical Bird Gardens in Rode, Somerset. That year,modelling beautiful tropical birds in their home background became my mission.

Then three years ago, when I got a pet dog and discovered more wild nature around me, my designs stared to change: trees, wild animals and birds, wild flowers and sunset.

I put more emphasis on painting and etching like techniques with glazes and this requires more time on each piece. I used to think my predictions of the outcome of Raku firings were 95% correct, but when I was firing this May, I was very surprised by the unexpected results. The message boxes looked just as I felt when I was close to nature; it was as if they reflected my emotion and vision.

In the past, people have asked me if a message was embodied inside, and I replied that I left others to create their own interpretation and message to go with. Now this time when someone feels they see something in the message box, what they see is my introduction and invitation to my world.