Featured Artist Yoko Sekino-Bove – Red Lodge Clay Center

Featured Artist Yoko Sekino-BoveJul 02, 2021 - Jul 31, 2021

Curatorial Statement

Artist’s Reception: Friday, July 2, 2021 from 5-7 pm MT

Exhibition Posted Online: Monday, July 5, 2021 by 10 am MT


Yoko Sekino-Bové was born in Osaka, Japan. She worked as a graphic designer before her passion for ceramic art took her onto a new path.

After receiving an MFA in Ceramics from the University of Oklahoma, Yoko moved to Washington, Pennsylvania, and started working from her home studio. Her porcelain work has been exhibited in galleries, museums, and most importantly, many private homes (mainly kitchens). Yoko participated in several residencies, such as the Arts/Industry residency at John Michael Kohler Art Center, the Archie Bray Foundation, and at Cerdeira Village in Portugal. Her work has also been shown in Canada, Portugal, Japan, Latvia, Turkey, Dominican Republic, and South Korea. Her works are featured in “500 cups”, “500 platters and chargers”, “500 teapot volume 2”, “Humor in Craft”, and “Cast” as well as a variety of periodicals. Her technical articles get featured in The Pottery Making Illustrated magazine occasionally.


There is a reward in creating utilitarian ceramic art. It is that my work will become a part of the owner who uses and touches it everyday. My work becomes a part of their identity as well as a part of their life.

In this industrial and technology driven age, the question of why we still create and use hand-made objects over mass-produced, technologically sophisticated merchandise should be investigated and discussed. Although, to me, there are no concrete answers, I believe it is partially a way to establish our identity as an individual and celebrate it. A part of the reason we acquire an original, one-of-a-kind craft object may not only be for the practical use, but also as a vocabulary to describe our individual identity. It is also a tool for our little rituals (also known as a daily routine) that we subconsciously participate in everyday.

My porcelain work represents the integration of my collective emotions, curiosities, insights, and fancies in shapes of plants and animals. Capturing these emotions and translating them into a certain shape is like picking up wild flowers for making a bouquet: a mixture of random choices and selective chaos, inspirations, and the anticipation for something unexpected.

The forms I developed are primarily for practical usage but also to challenge the users to exercise their imagination. Form and the surface design entwine to create a story, yet it is the function that establishes the identity. Function is a great tool to enhance the story/identity I want to deliver, as well as an invitation to everyone to touch and play with the piece. This is a great advantage for me that we can share the excuse of function with the ceramic art to engage in an intimate, long-term relationship through usage.

As a maker, I hope my functional work grows on the users to the level of a reliable companion that provides comfort. I hope that my work offers intimacy, joy, and affection to the owners in their private spaces. My goal in utilitarian ceramics is to create art beyond function, which will live and work with the people.-Yoko Sekino-Bove