Discover the design hotlist: Hitomi Hosono
Charlotte Metcalf nominates Wedgwood's artist in residence Hitomi Hosono as an unmatched artistic innovator
From architecture and interiors to art and engineering, Tempus has teamed up with a board of leading experts to unveil the eight innovators set to shake up the design world in Britain in 2018. Each day, Tempus Online puts the spotlight of one of these great eight pioneers to celebrate the launch of our new print issue.
Just as British cuisine has been inspired and enriched by the concept of fusion, wise British brands are turning to artists and different cultures to update and energise their heritage and traditions. Wedgwood has recently unveiled seven exquisite jasper pieces by its first ever artist-in-residence, Hitomi Hosono.
Hosono, whose grandfather was a plaster and ceramics worker, grew up surrounded by potteries in an area that she describes as ‘the Stoke of Japan’. After studying traditional ornamental pottery at art college in Japan, Hosono studied in Denmark and then won a place at the Royal College of Art in London for her Master of Arts degree. While studying there in 2008 she worked at the Wedgwood factory as an intern, marking the start of a mutually fruitful creative adventure.
Wedgwood has always prided itself on innovation but much of what Hosono wanted to do was so imaginative and intricate as to present a complex challenge to Wedgwood’s craftsmen. But a year on, after much experimentation, Hosono and Wedgwood have triumphantly combined forces and the new pieces are instant collectibles. The centrepiece is Hosono’s take on Wedgwood’s iconic Portland Vase, first exhibited in 1790 in the Portland House showrooms.
There are two small boxes, a plate, two vases and, perhaps most covetable and irresistible of all, a purely decorative pale pink egg sprouting with tiny cream daisies. “I will treasure my very precious experience working with the craftsmen at Wedgwood,” says Hosono. “I love the fact that the shapes are so deeply rooted in the brand’s history but that I’ve been able bring something entirely new and contemporary to them.”
Hosono works from a modest north London studio but with a new project for the British Museum already under way (and still under wraps), her reputation is growing. More and more collectors are investing in her beautiful, delicate designs, wisely sensing their lasting value as future heirlooms.
Documentary film director, writer and journalist Charlotte unveils the Japanese artist bringing innovative design from the east to the west. Read more from our experts and innovators in Tempus Design Issue, out now.