Thursday, February 2, 2012


I have been creating pottery in Japan for just a little over a year and a half now, and shown virtually none of my work. I hesitated to publish or post any of my pieces because I kept telling myself I was working towards some type of major unveiling. The problem with that is that I get virtually no feedback on my work (other than my own opinions), and as a young, completely unknown, foreign artist (who's Japanese is, let's face it, worse than infantile) I am not the most desirable addition to any local galleries. SO, in an effort to finally get feed back and get my work out there, I am starting this web space dedicated to my ceramics.

Just to fill in some gaps left by my brief artist statement, My name is Andrew (Bear) Sartorius and I have a ceramics problem. . . It started a long time ago. I was raised in the wild parentage of two wonderful people who met at a craft fair. My father, the fine wooden spoon carver, and my mother, now an ex-stained glass artist, filled our home with objects of wood, metal, and earth that had been shaped and molded into these wonderful forms. Of these fine crafts I found the ceramics aways caught my eye the most. However I studied English literature in college and didn't take my first ceramics class until the fall semester of 2009. A friend of the family happened to be the ceramics professor at Marietta College, and I signed up for a continuing education course, after graduating from The College of Wooster, with him. Once I started I couldn't stop. It just feels right for me to have my hands working in the clay. There are only two other things that have felt as right in my life - mentoring kids as a summer camp counselor and cooking. Shortly after my ceramics class ended I discovered I had been accepted as a participant in the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Program. So, I picked up and relocated to Susaki City in Kochi Prefecture, Japan. Fortunately for my newfound addiction, the high school I was placed in has a beautiful (but simple) ceramics studio. 

And that's the story. Every chance I get I sneak down to the studio I lucked into having at my disposal. I am out to learn through doing, and improve my skills and creative abilities. I hope this blog will give others a chance to see my work and tell me what they think is successful and what isn't. Perhaps some day this will turn into more than a digital gallery of my work and creative process, but for now enjoy!

New bowls fresh off the wheel this Monday.
I am not a fan of this clay body, it's quite rough, and the glazes I have tend to come out a bit dull on top of it. These 7 mark the end of it.

My first vase form in Japan. Made last March.

A tea bowl from this Autumn's firing, and my first adventure in reglazing. 

One of my first pieces to come off the wheel in Japan.

This is one of the few pots no longer in my possession. It now assist's a recent addition to the 30 and up age bracket with his morning rituals. Hope it's treating you well Colin! 


  1. Thanks for the post.
    Here, a gallery in Paris, which has nice japanese art pieces:
    Yakimono Japanese Ceramics

  2. Congratulations on sharing this :) It's a great step on getting started. Thanks for sharing.