Hypnotic Videos of a Japanese Potter at Work

Abe Haruya Japanese Pottery

Japanese potter Abe Haruya has been gaining recognition not only for his intricately patterned ceramics, but also for the hypnotic behind the scenes videos he posts to Instagram. What started as him playing with his wife's smartphone has turned into a large following that can't stop watching him shape and mold pieces of porcelain.

Haruya often works using a technique known as yokoku, which literally translates to relief. Here, patterns are carved into a mold and then pressed onto the tableware that's been shaped on the potter's wheel. He also meticulously scraps away clay to create detailed patterns along the surface of vases or edges of decorative bowls.

It's impossible not to find soothing joy in watching Haruya manipulate the clay, letting it melt away like butter until the piece reaches its final shape. And as he shaves away layers of dry clay to form decorative patterns, the sounds are almost as mesmerizing as the action itself. Completely dedicated to his craft, he can often be found working on pieces for up to 3 months. His classic, beautiful tableware is available worldwide via Hanada.

Japanese potter Abe Haruya has gained a surprising following after posting short videos of himself working with clay to Instagram.

This longer video shows the potter's technique from start to finish.

Here's a look at the Japanese master's tableware when completely finished.

Abe Haruya: Instagram
h/t: [Colossal]

All images via Abe Haruya.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.

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