Makoto Yabe, whose name means archer in Japanese and would sign his work with the image of an archer, was a master with clay, glaze, design, hand building, and working on his potter’s wheel. Depicted in this lithophane, Makoto is surrounded by his adoring students – and I was fortunate to be one of them – at the potter’s wheel, under the arm of the archer, with the sun symbolically setting on his special life.
I carved vessel-shaped stamps, like the pots I admired made by Makoto, and stamped them around the lithophane. Early Ukiyo-e Japanese woodblock prints also influenced the design, created first as a bas-relief tile and cast in plaster, then cast in translucent porcelain clay. The illuminated pots are arranged reminiscent of Makoto’s flaming hot kiln.