Noriko Nagaoka Ceramics
Noriko is originally from Osaka, Japan but moved to the UK in 2003 to further her studies. She settled here in the UK and worked various roles for japanese companies in London but yearned for something more creative to do. In 2014 she enrolled in an evening course in ceramics-making at the Working Men’s College in London. After two years of study there, she took a smaller group course at Ricky Grimes’s studio. After that, she joined the Turning Earth studio as a part time ceramicist.
During the summer of 2019, she wanted to develop her skills on the technical side of the firing process, so started working as an assistant for Jo Davis in her studio as a part time volunteer. Later that year she took the leap with all her new skills and knowledge she set up her own studio in her back garden in North Finchley.
Noriko describes herself as a very curious person and if something suddenly interests her, she always endeavours to try it hands on. When she was young, she wanted to be a fashion designer and was always doodling on the back of paper or notebooks. The creativity involved in making something from nothing excites Noriko very much, and she has always desired to work in a creative field since she was a child. In Japan, Noriko worked in two or three jobs at the same time, and was too busy to really think about being creative. After settling in London, she made a bit more time for herself, taking courses in various subjects, trying to find what she wanted to do. During her first ceramics course she knew that she wanted to focus on it and develop that practice further.
All of her ceramics designs are inspired by nature. She says 'In Japan we always try to find some balance with nature and it is a big part of our lives day to day, so I try to reflect that in my work.'
Noriko began developing her own style of ceramics, inspired by the natural world found in Japan and Canada (where she often travels), using a layered glazing style and gravity, to create her individually unique pieces. Trees, ocean scenery, mountains, waterfalls, and animals, all inspire her. Every day she explores finding new forms, sizes, weight and colours to express within her ceramic practice.
"I am deeply influenced and inspired by the Japanese master potter Mr. Shoji Hamada. His spontaneous designs and clean forms are what I strive to achieve in my own work."