Intricate and Organic Sculptures by Ceramicist Eriko Inazaki

These white and intricate forms appear to be the work of mother nature, sculpted over hundreds and thousands of years. Instead, they’re the work of Japanese ceramicist Eriko Inazaki, who painstakingly shapes and assembles each prick and piece by hand. And in doing so, she’s pushed the art of ceramics beyond its traditional boundaries.


“Arcadia” (2016) | photo by Keizo Kioku

“Arcadia” detail (2016) | photo by Keizo Kioku

Born in 1972, Inazaki studied sculpture at Musashino Art University in Tokyo before going on to obtain her MFA in ceramics from Kyoto City University of Arts. She exhibited her work are various ceramics fairs and exhibitions but remained relatively under the radar until 2017 when her work was included in an craftsmanship exhibition that began touring Japan.

The artist’s captivating sculptures are made by intricately rolling and pinching tiny pieces of clay, adhering them to each other to create organic, biological structures. The multiple layers are rare in works of ceramics, and create a sense of anxiety and fragility. In a video below of Inazaki in her studio, you can watch as she assembles her pieces. Note the humidifier, which is constantly running to create a controlled environment that keeps her pieces from drying out as she works on them.

“Enza” (2019) | photo by Akira Takahashi

“hikari ni tsuite” (2012)

Her 2019 sculpture titled Metanoia was recently awarded top place in the 2023 Craft Prize sponsored by the Loewe Foundation.

“Metanoia” (2019) | photo courtesy Loewe Craft Prize

“Metanoia” (2019) | photo courtesy Loewe Craft Prize

1 Comment

  1. Cathryn Kempster

    May 22, 2023 at 4:18 am

    it seems impossible for someone to make these incredibly intricate shapes – stunning!

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