For me, the act of creation is a collaboration between myself, the clay and the fire. Collaboration means finding what the clay wants to be and bringing out its beauty in the way that the beauty of our surroundings is created through natural forces. Undulations in sand that has been moved by the wind, rock formations caused by landslides, the crackle and patina in the wall of an old house; all these owe their special beauty to the random hand of Nature. The fire is the ultimate random part of the collaborative equation. I hope the fire will be my ally, but I know it will always transform the clay in ways I cannot anticipate.
Akira Satake（佐竹晃）was born in Osaka, Japan and has been living in the U.S. since 1983. In 2003 he relocated from Brooklyn, New York to Swannanoa, North Carolina, where he has a wood-fired kiln and a gas kiln. In 2013 he opened Akira Satake Ceramics/Gallery Mugen as his working studio and exhibition space in the River Arts District in Asheville, NC.
Recent awards, events and exhibitions:
Masterclass Workshop - in France 2014
Peters Valley School of Craft, NJ: two week Anagama wood-firing workshop, 2013
Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC: lecture -- “The Tea Ceremony and its Influence on Japanese Ceramics,” 2013
SOFA NY, 2012
Illinois Wesleyan University: lecture and solo exhibition, 2012
Invited artist/lecturer and workshop for Israel pottery symposium, 2009
Philadelphia Museum Show: National Award for Excellence in Contemporary Clay, 2007
Smithsonian Craft Show, 2008--2010
Philadelphia Museum Show, 2007--2012
Mint Museum Pottery Invitational, 2009—2014
Collections • The Mint Museum and The Phillips Collection
cynthia pierce/yuzu patisserie
Cynthia Pierce, owner of Yuzu Patisserie, is a professional baker and pastry chef whose background includes two decades of experience working in restaurants, catering companies and bakeries in NYC, and two and a half years as pastry chef at The Market Place Restaurant in Asheville, NC.
During the past five years, Cynthia's pastries were only available at the Asheville City Market. Doing business every Saturday morning as Sweet Life Bakeshop in the popular tailgate market enabled her to meet and interact directly with farmers and customers who shared her passion for local, seasonal and high quality produce and ingredients.
In March of 2013, Sweet Life Bakeshop was transformed into Yuzu Patisserie, a cozy area within the Gallery Mugen where her customers can continue to find their favorite Sweet Life sweets and savories along with many new and tempting pastries, cookies and tarts. The patisserie also serves coffee and a variety of loose leaf teas, including black teas, herb teas, and a variety of Japanese green teas selected by Akira.
Bistro tables and chairs within the gallery and outside on the deck offer visitors to the River Arts District a chance to stop and relax awhile as they enjoy a snack and conversation with friends or simply some quiet contemplation time during their busy day.
“I’ve always been fascinated with textiles and the influence they have on our culture. Inspired by the things around me—color, movement, light, nature, architecture and design—I am moved to create art for everyday use. Functional textiles can enhance our lives in subtle yet powerful ways—from expressing who we are to communicating emotion.”
Reflecting the stillness and simplicity of natural forms, BZDesign textiles are effortlessly stylish. No two pieces are exactly alike, each the result of a process that starts with sustainably sourced materials crafted with mindful attention to detail and ends with an artistic, functional accessory to enhance the home or wardrobe.
Made by hand, BZDesign accessories are delicate but durable, contemporary but timeless in their quality and style.
Barbara Zaretsky is a textile artist and the owner and director of BZDesign and Cloth Fiber Workshop, a textile arts learning center. Originally from the Chicago area, she studied textile design at Northern Illinois University and the Art Institute of Chicago, and Art History at the University of Illinois, continuing her education at Penland School of Crafts. A member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, Zaretsky was named one of the top five designers in Asheville by Southern Living magazine. Her work has appeared in Victoria magazine, Metropolis, Southern Living, Our State and other trade, regional and national publications and blogs.