When formal academic studies began to get in the way of a ceramics artist's vision for his creativity, he hit the road for a year's apprenticeship with a 15th generation potter in Japan.
Guest interview by the Ceramics Program
Before Koji Everard ’20 left for Japan to begin his year-long apprenticeship with a master potter, we sat down with him to ask why making time for his artistic ceramic practice is so important.
When and where did you begin your practice with clay?
My practice with clay began informally during my freshman year of high school. I went to a private high school in Los Anegles that had a fantastic arts program. I took an “Intro to
How do you combine/balance your ceramic practice with your life as a Harvard student?
I think of my ceramics as an informal part of my course schedule. Ceramics works in stages and thus requires you to come back to your work periodically and monitor it.
What is coming up in the future for you?
I’m taking next year off from school to apprentice under a potter in southern Japan. His name is Nakazato Taki and he’s a 15th generation potter in Karatsu, Saga prefecture. He works with a traditional kick-wheel and makes a very subtle, elegant style of work. While at school I really disliked how I had to compromise my approach to my work because of other obligations. I decided I wanted to look into taking another year off to apprentice during the second semester of my first year. It’s only in that kind of social isolation that I can reach the level of engagement and focus necessary to really pursue my work and hone my skills as a potter. I do have my reservations about leaving for another year – I’ll be 24 when I graduate college – but there’s no time like the present, and I was lucky enough to find a wonderful opportunity.
Special feature: Watch a video of Koji Everard '20 and cellist Kartik Papatla '18 perform at 10th Annual Harvard Student Art Show Opening Reception.