“I first met my Sensei, Seisho Kuniyoshi, in 1972 when I visited his workshop in Kina, Okinawa. He made tableware in the Mingei style at the time and I was immediately attracted not just to the strength and grace of his pots but also to the underlying aesthetics. The work did not attempt to wow the viewer with technique. Instead, the overall excellence of the pots was created by the union of good clay, modelling, glazing and firing. Nothing was overdone. In my own work, this is something I try to emulate. Most of my work is utilitarian, made on the potter’s wheel to be used in daily life. Even the larger, hand built objects are created with functional intent, specifically to serve as vases and food vessels.”
Clayton utilizes a wood fueled tunnel kiln, anagama, to fire his pots because wood ash circulating in the kiln at high temperatures causes glazes to form in irregular patterns. Some parts of the clay surfaces remain unglazed, showing the markings of the flames on their journey from firebox to chimney. Lines and other carvings on his larger vessels also contribute to the random patterns, and the extended firing time creates textures reminiscent of stone.
Clayton’s ceramics have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions and galleries in Japan, the People’s Republic of China, and the United States including the Okinawa Prefectureal Museum and Art Museum, the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, and Kuroda Toen, Ginza, Tokyo. Mainly, however, his ceramics are in private collections throughout the world, especially in Hawaii, Santa Rosa, California, London, England, and Bonn, Germany.
July 26 – September 7 – Volcano Art Center
September 17 – January 15 – Honolulu Museum of Art at First Hawaiian Center