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Friday Five with Reiko Kaneko

Reiko Kaneko is a designer focusing on a broad range of elegant ceramics that blend her Japanese roots with English tradition. After studying design at Central Saint Martins, Kaneko set up shop in London before moving to Stoke-on-Trent in 2012, where her company focuses on designing fine bone china in simple shapes, thin glassware and terra-cotta, and pure white china that’s dipped in glazes. Her gorgeous line of tabletop objects and decor pieces has expanded to include jewelry and even holiday ornaments over the years, proving her journey in ceramics is far from over. Take a look at what this busy creative includes in her Friday Five.

1. Stoke-on-Trent
My adopted home for three and a half years, the heart of British Ceramics; Middleport pottery where this archive image is from has an excellent working factory tour. Wedgwood recently updated their visitor centre and Gladstone pottery museum shows a great slice of life in the Victorian potteries.

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2. British Ceramics Biennial
On display through November 8th 2015, it showed off the endless possibilities of working with clay. From Art and sculptures to functional everyday wares; raw clay, different bodies, glazing and finishing.

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3. Ceramic 3D printing
3D System’s ceramic printer is currently printing at British Ceramics Biennial. It’s another route to endless possibilities of expression through ceramics and the process is relatively new.

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4. Shotoku Glass
A Japanese manufacturer of glass from Tokyo. Founded in 1922, they specialized in blowing light bulb casings and have now diversified to creating beautifully thin tabletop glasses. I’ve learned from them the good way to create, do business, and the value of “monozukuri-no-nakama”—teaming up with makers.

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5. Glazes
I’ve always shied away from color but anyone who knows me understands my current fascination with glazes and color. Particularly reactive glazing that creates patterns that reflect the natural world in an effortless way. Something I would never be able to create in my own head but through heatwork and some elements, opening a kiln is never boring.

Caroline Williamson is Editorial Director of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.