Pino Usicco The Raku Way
An unforgotten and repeated childhood experience is the origin of this other, present-day experience, of this “playing” with the earth, hands and heart.A path that I started walking when I was a
child of 7 years when, not farfrom my grandparents’ house (my mother’ parents) I used to play on the banks of a nearby stream, passing my time smoothing down the fine, slightly chalky lime that
formed there. The breeze would caress me at times and my hands formed “birthless” signs and shapes, spontaneous and naive, smelling of earth and that intense, subtle dampness.Everything happened
beyond time.The sensation was …obliviousness; the consequence was heaven.Many times since then have I remembered the joy of that specialexperience and one day I went back to that place, expectant
and excitedand .. and the stream was just a trickle, the chalky lime almost inexistent… mm … I thought that my hands must have been really small then, but also that the natural innocence of those
times had made me see things that I could no longer see. All things undergo continuous change, and each thing is nothing more than the result of causes and conditions.
Today I work clay in order to relive that lost pleasure, both as an endunto itself and in order to return to my childhood, experiencing sweet joy and deep tenderness.
* This is a blue-coloured clay called IIlaicaSatori is the experience of enlightenment, also called realisation and achievement. (Translator’s note)
RAKU, or rather, THE RAKU WAY also has a story to tell; a series of significant events. But I will summarise by saying that it inspires serenity, it suits my nature, it allows me to experiment with instincts, to experience strong emotions using irregular, “naturalistic” forms, just like the sun, the wind and the rain effect on the earth through time; as if it were a natural action where everything is recreated. This is my way of “playing” – my mind is oblivious and I can feel the magic and powerful beauty of theobject, incandescent as it is removed from the fire - container and transmitter of the power of nature; the joy of my hands and my heart.Everything returns to the universe …. to Harmony.The rest really does not interest me.
I am deeply grateful to Chojiro and Sen no Rikyu, to dearest Hiroshi Teshigahara and mother earth.I thank Fabio Cavaglieri fine potter for the constant help he has given me.
THE RAKU WAY Rakuyaki or Raku is a Japanese pottery firing technique for making clay vessels. Chojiro invented this technique around the mid 1500s, inspired by his teacher Sen no Rikyu who advocated the ideals of Wabi just as much as the philosophy of Zen, Buddhism and Taoism. For this reason, Chojiro’s tea bowls were not only pottery objects but unsurpassed creations elevated into spiritual abstraction and an intensified presence.
Four terms are necessary to explain “matter”: fire, earth, air and water.Earth is the active and solidifying element; Earth is the receptive andformative element; Air is the subtle and intermediate element which favoursthe Interchange between the forces; Water is the heterogeneous element,the assorted structure, the product of fire, earth and air. Pino Usicco
Title : PINO USICCO THE RAKU WAY
Author : pino usicco
Number of pages : 96
Size : 31x46 cm
Publisher : DeHumanaArchitectura
Year : 1st edition may 2008