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Joan Takayma-Ogawa

American, b. 1955

Cowry Tea Set

6.5 x 10 x 7.5 in.
Gift of the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation

Joan Takayma-Ogawa’s family has been creating ceramics in the ancient kiln city of Tokoname, Japan since the fifteenth century. Her work is frequently concerned with decoration and ornamentation, using diverse methods to create contemporary social commentary. Cowry Tea Set was inspired by cowry shells, which are thought to be signs of good luck, femininity, and fertility.

Born and raised in Pasadena, California, Takayma-Ogawa is an accomplished sansei, or third-generation ceramic artist. Her father studied ceramics with Glen Lukens (see Lukens, 1952 Bowl) while enrolled in University of Southern California’s school of architecture. She began her extensive education at the International Christian University, Tokyo. She received her BFA in East Asian studies and geography from UCLA in 1978, then her MA at Stanford in 1979. From 1985 to 1989, at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, she studied with renowned ceramist Ralph Bacerra (see Bacerra, 1998 Cloud Teapot). As professor of ceramics at Otis since 1985, she pushed her students beyond traditional boundaries by integrating clay with digital and prototyping technologies.

Billie Sessions, PhD.

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