Ishikawa Tani Series

Introduction / Click to view

ISHIKAWA TANI SERIES (Stone River Valley Series)

These new pieces celebrate the spiritual connections that Japanese craftsmen and women make with the mundane, and their ability to infuse useful, commonplace objects with functional beauty and abstract representations of nature.

A Recent Trip
In the summer of 2009, I was invited to live and teach in Western Japan. Osaka University of Arts is located in a beautiful valley. Some refer to it as the “Valley of the Kings” of Japan. Each day I rode my bike along the banks of the Ishikawa (Stone River), the birthplace of Japanese culture. I studied museum artifacts such as the mysterious ancient copper bells, called Dotaku, and I photographed 500-year-old wooden shoji grids in downtown Tondabayashi. My students and I made a mold from a manhole cover with an art deco image in front of my apartment. I visited Ise Jingu, one of the largest and oldest Shinto Shrines in Japan that has been torn down and rebuilt using thousands of cedar trees, and no nails, every twenty years since 700 AD! These and many more experiences contributed ideas for this work.