Artist Statement

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 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. 

The Philadelphia Museum awarded him the National Award for Excellence in Contemporary Clay.  A Craftsman’s Legacy - a national weekly television series on PBS, featured his life and work.

Akira is widely sought after for workshops, lectures and exhibitions and has been invited to France, Belgium, Israel, Australia, Spain and Bali.

Collections: The Mint Museum and The Phillips Collection.

Recent awards, events and exhibitions:

Gaya Ceramic Arts Center - in Bali 2017

Clay Gulgong - in Australia 2016

Masterclass Workshop - in Belgium and France 2015

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—2018

Collections • The Mint Museum and The Phillips Collection