Hakeme Serving Bowl IV

Matthew Foster
Hakeme Serving Bowl IV by Matthew Foster forms part of a functional series of pieces which are inspired by the Leach legacy as well as the vernacular styles and forms of medieval pottery. Through the use of glaze and traditional techniques, Matthew aims to infuse his pieces with the spirit of the past resulting in pieces of enduring value. Matthew applies thick hakeme slip using a brush, which gives the piece a sense of fluidity and movement.

Material: Stoneware, glaze
cm: Diameter 28cm, Height 13cm
inches: Diameter 11in, Height 5.1in
Care Instructions: Hand wash in warm soapy water


For this piece, Matthew uses the traditional hakeme technique, which has been practised in Japanese ceramics for centuries, initially invented by Korean potters for whom it was known as ‘gye yal’. First the stoneware is thrown and then trimmed into forms. Matthew then applies a black slip, followed by thick layers of white slip using a dry straw brush, ensuring the gestures of the brushstrokes remain visible. Once dried and bisque fired, the pieces are then glazed with a dolomite glaze mixed using raw materials, then fired one final time at a high temperature in a reduction kiln. The black slip is turned blue by the dolomite glaze and shows through where the white slip is thinner, highlighting the brush strokes from the straw bristles which are synonymous with the hakeme pottery tradition.
The Maker Matthew Foster Ceramicist - South West England

Ceramics artist Matthew Foster studied Fine Art at Kent University and after winning the Seasalt Bursary in 2009, he became an apprentice at Leach Pottery in Cornwall. Alongside growing his individual practice, Matthew continues to work as the Studio Production Manager at Leach Pottery and draws much inspiration from his contemporaries there. In line with an on-going exploration of the Mingei Philosophy (focusing on the beauty of ordinary, everyday craft), he is currently exploring peasant stonewares of the Korean Yi dynasty, Gongxian pottery, Tang dynasty, and porcelain pots from the Chinese Sung period.