You are not an artist simply because you paint or sculpt or make pots that cannot be used. An artist is a poet in his or her own medium. And when an artist produces a good piece, that work has mystery, an unsaid quality; it is alive.

Toshiko Takaezu

Toshiko Takaezu 1922–2011

Toshiko Takaezu, distinguished American ceramic artist and teacher, was born in Hawaii in 1922. She is celebrated as a driving force in the development of the modern ceramic art philosophy that seeks to elevate the product of a potter’s craft from utilitarian vessel to fine art.

The sixth of eleven children, Toshiko Takaezu (pronounced Toe-SHEE-ko Taka-YAY-zoo) was the daughter of Japanese immigrants who emigrated from Okinawa to Pekeekeo, Hawaii. Her art training began in the early 1940s with Saturday painting classes at the Honolulu Academy of Arts. During these early years, she worked with commercial ceramic firms producing press mold pieces. It was through this work that she met Claude Horan, founder of the ceramics program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. At Horan’s encouragement, Takaezu enrolled at the University – the first step in her formal artistic training.

In 1951, Takaezu was accepted to the prestigious Cranbrook Academy of the Arts in Bloomfield Hills, MI. In her third year, she accepted the position of teaching assistant to Finnish ceramic artist Maija Grotell. An excellent teacher with a knack for experimenting with glazes, Grotell had a profound influence on Takaezu’s work and encouraged her to find her own voice as an artist. After graduating, she went abroad in 1955 to explore her Japanese heritage, including the study of the tea ceremony and Zen Buddhism. While there, she studied the techniques and aesthetics of renowned artists Toyo Kaneshige and Yagi Kazuo, among others.

Auction Results Toshiko Takaezu

TOSHIKO TAKAEZU, Momo Form | ragoarts.com

Toshiko Takaezu

Momo Form
estimate: $7,000–9,000
result: $30,000

TOSHIKO TAKAEZU, Ocean Edge Closed Form | ragoarts.com

Toshiko Takaezu

Ocean Edge Closed Form
estimate: $9,000–12,000
result: $20,000

TOSHIKO TAKAEZU, Small Moon Closed Form (with rattle) | ragoarts.com

Toshiko Takaezu

Small Moon Closed Form (with rattle)
estimate: $8,000–10,000
result: $17,500

TOSHIKO TAKAEZU, Garden Seat (with rattle) | ragoarts.com

Toshiko Takaezu

Garden Seat (with rattle)
estimate: $12,000–18,000
result: $12,500

TOSHIKO TAKAEZU, Closed Form | ragoarts.com

Toshiko Takaezu

Closed Form
estimate: $8,000–10,000
result: $12,500

TOSHIKO TAKAEZU, Large form | ragoarts.com

Toshiko Takaezu

Large form
estimate: $3,500–4,500
result: $7,500

TOSHIKO TAKAEZU, Closed Form vessels, set of three (with rattles) | ragoarts.com

Toshiko Takaezu

Closed Form vessels, set of three (with rattles)
estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $6,875

TOSHIKO TAKAEZU, Fine and large cobalt sphere | ragoarts.com

Toshiko Takaezu

Fine and large cobalt sphere
estimate: $3,500–4,500
result: $5,000

TOSHIKO TAKAEZU, Closed Form (with rattle) | ragoarts.com

Toshiko Takaezu

Closed Form (with rattle)
estimate: $2,000–3,000
result: $4,688

TOSHIKO TAKAEZU, Closed Form (with rattle) | ragoarts.com

Toshiko Takaezu

Closed Form (with rattle)
estimate: $1,500–2,000
result: $4,688

TOSHIKO TAKAEZU, Closed Forms (with rattles), set of three | ragoarts.com

Toshiko Takaezu

Closed Forms (with rattles), set of three
estimate: $2,000–3,000
result: $4,688

TOSHIKO TAKAEZU, Hanging Closed Form (with rattle) | ragoarts.com

Toshiko Takaezu

Hanging Closed Form (with rattle)
estimate: $3,000–4,000
result: $4,375

TOSHIKO TAKAEZU, Closed Form | ragoarts.com

Toshiko Takaezu

Closed Form
estimate: $900–1,400
result: $4,160

TOSHIKO TAKAEZU, Massive tall form | ragoarts.com

Toshiko Takaezu

Massive tall form
estimate: $4,500–6,500
result: $4,063

TOSHIKO TAKAEZU, Vase form | ragoarts.com

Toshiko Takaezu

Vase form
estimate: $900–1,400
result: $4,063

TOSHIKO TAKAEZU, Early vessel | ragoarts.com

Toshiko Takaezu

Early vessel
estimate: $2,500–3,500
result: $4,063

TOSHIKO TAKAEZU, Closed Form | ragoarts.com

Toshiko Takaezu

Closed Form
estimate: $1,000–1,500
result: $4,063

TOSHIKO TAKAEZU, Closed Form (with rattle) | ragoarts.com

Toshiko Takaezu

Closed Form (with rattle)
estimate: $1,500–2,000
result: $3,750

TOSHIKO TAKAEZU, Celadon form | ragoarts.com

Toshiko Takaezu

Celadon form
estimate: $1,250–1,750
result: $3,750

TOSHIKO TAKAEZU, Closed Form (with rattle) | ragoarts.com

Toshiko Takaezu

Closed Form (with rattle)
estimate: $800–1,200
result: $3,500

TOSHIKO TAKAEZU, Large untitled form | ragoarts.com

Toshiko Takaezu

Large untitled form
estimate: $2,000–3,000
result: $3,500

TOSHIKO TAKAEZU, Large untitled form | ragoarts.com

Toshiko Takaezu

Large untitled form
estimate: $2,000–3,000
result: $3,000

TOSHIKO TAKAEZU, Early and Rare vase | ragoarts.com

Toshiko Takaezu

Early and Rare vase
estimate: $2,500–3,500
result: $3,000

TOSHIKO TAKAEZU, Closed Form (with rattle) | ragoarts.com

Toshiko Takaezu

Closed Form (with rattle)
estimate: $1,000–1,500
result: $3,000