Designing Everyday Joy
Ceramic artist and designer Makoto Kagoshima creates work that is both functional and whimsical.
Nature and everyday life inspire ceramic artist and designer Makoto Kagoshima. His illustrations and designs are often described as whimsical and heartwarming with their animal and plant motifs. "First, I think about what I need for myself now", Makoto describes the start of his creative process. Functionality fascinates him as much as the charming world his illustrations create. His products are meant to bring joy and beauty to clients in their everyday life.
Makoto works in his studio in Fukuoka, Japan, and his works have been shown in exhibitions all over the world, including Los Angeles, Taipei, and London. After graduation from an art college, he initially worked with interior design. "I worked in for example sales, management, and displays for twelve years in total", he says. The job enabled him to work with beautiful spaces and interiors from all over the world. Makoto also says that meeting people with different backgrounds was fascinating. "Encountering those professionals from various fields, and all the knowledge I gained from them led me to my work", he describes.
Makoto began working with Lapuan Kankurit in 2012 after an encounter in Japan. Similar interests and values led to the cooperation. Entrepreneurship and a passion for authentic materials unites Makoto with Lapuan Kankurit. Makoto describes his interest in working with textiles: "It's a completely different material from the pottery I make." "'What to make' is an important question", he says. "'Who to work with' is also an important choice. It's my pleasure to work with Jaana and Esko Hjelt from Lapuan Kankurit."
Makoto has visited the weaving mill in Lapua, Finland. He says that he was surprised by how much craftsmanship was visible in the work. "Before visiting, I had an image that the products were made by machines in a factory", he says. Large machines are operated at the weaving mill, but Makoto soon realised they were simply tools for highly skilled professionals. "They are the same as my small modelling knives and brushes", he describes. "I felt the machines were an extension of the hands of the staff. I feel the hands of the craftsman in Lapuan Kankurit products."
Makoto sees Finnish culture as one that values nature and functionality - both elements that are strongly visible in his work as well. He himself uses crafts and industrial products made by Finnish artists and designers. "I use them every day", he says. One day, he wishes that in addition to textiles, he could also design ceramics in Finland. He finds that Finnish companies work passionately and flexibly. "I am interested in what kind of change will appear in what I make", he explains why working in Finland would be fascinating. "I'm impressed with the beauty of Finnish things."