Ceramicist Hitomi Hosono creates porcelain vessels layered in hundreds of leaf sprigs and other botanical forms. These monochromatic elements are based on plants Hosono encounters during walks through East London’s greenery. “It is my intention to transfer the leaf’s beauty and detail into my ceramic work,” she explains, using it as my own language to weave new stories for objects.
One month to create the mold, three weeks to attach the folliage, and up to five months to let it dry. That’s a basic run-down of the numbers involved in the work of Hitomi Hosono. All of Hosono’s vessels are thrown on a wheel. The foliage is hand-carved and then attached.
Her technique is inspired by Jasperware, a type of stoneware covered in thin ceramic reliefs invented by Josiah Wedgwood in the late 18th century. Like Wedgwood, she carefully applies her delicate forms to a porcelain base. From start to finish a larger work will take Hosono nearly a year and a half to complete. Much of this time is spent drying, as her densely layered works often need 10-12 months to completely dry.
Hosono creates her detailed porcelain all from memory – specifically, from a farm in Gifu where she observed lots of greenery as a child. But her photographic visual images are so vast that she’ll often forget where (or when) it is from. “I’ll send my mother a sketch and ask her if she knows what the flower is and she’ll say, ‘We have it in our garden, don’t you remember?’ ” she said.
Hosono’s solo exhibition, Reimagining Nature: Hitomi Hosono’s Memories in Porcelain, is currently on view at the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation in London through December 15, 2017. You can see more of her layered botanical sculptures on the artist’s website and through her gallery Adrian Sassoon.