Handmade for Japan


Top artists donate work for Japan relief auction

Peaceful, tranquil, and serene Japan was rocked by a deadly 9.0 earthquake on Friday, March 11th,  and 36 minutes later pounded by a deadly tsunami that killed more than 10,000 people, demolished towns, and has caused the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

Like many of their countrymen and women, artisans in Japan have been hit hard by these multiple disasters. According to a recent New York Times blog, in Kasama and Mashiko, located halfway between Tokyo and Sendai, potters’ work was destroyed when the quake struck, resulting in brick kilns collapsing and several years of production all shattered to bits and shards.

In response to the ongoing events in Japan, Handmade for Japan was conceived by Japanese-American artist Ayumi Horie, joined by close friends Kathryn Pombriant Manzella, and Ai Kanazawa Cheung. All three women maintain deep ties to Japan, and their goal is to aid Japanese residents and artists. Handmade for Japan is an online auction of unique, handmade art donated by artists throughout North America and Japan.

The auction will be held Thursday, March 24th at 8:00pm EST through March 27th and end at 8:00pm EST. It will be managed by eBay’s Giving Works program, which is partnered with MissionFish. One hundred percent of the auction’s net proceeds will be donated to Global Giving’s Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief.  Handmade for Japan aims to raise over $25,000 for Global Giving’s efforts.

Within two days after coming up with the idea of the auction, numerous artists jumped on board and donated several works of art, and within that same time period Handmade for Japan’s Facebook page gathered the attention and approval of over 4,500 members, many offering their own artwork as well as publicity for the event through their own social networking efforts. Visit the Facebook page to see photography of all the artwork that will be auctioned off.

Artists who have generously donated include: Sculptor and ceramicist Jun Kaneko, recognized for his large, freestanding ceramic forms. Kaneko has donated a stark black and white ceramic plate whose symmetry is reminiscent of the symbolism of yin and yang.

Ceramicist Justin Rothshank sees art and creativity as a catalyst for social change, economic improvement and enhancing everyday lives with beauty. Unlike Kaneko’s bold plate, Rothshank’s vase evokes the colorful but fragile beauty of nature.

For Shoko Teruyama, tradition played an important role in her daily life in Japan. Her artwork recalls sacred spaces and ceremonial objects. Her contribution to Handmade for Japan includes a series of tumblers with animal motifs.

Other notable artists who have donated work include Kirk Mangus, Takashi Hinoda, Akio Takamori, Betty Woodman, and many more.

For more information about the auction, please contact Kathryn Manzella, Ai Kanazawa/Handmade for Japan at Handmadeforjapan@gmail.com. To view items that will be auctioned, please visit http://www.facebook.com/handmadeforjapanauction. To bid on the auction, please go to http://stores.ebay.com/handmade-for-japan when it opens at 8pn EST on March 24. Bidding closes on March 27 at 8pm EST. For Handmade for Japan on Twitter, please follow @handmade4japan.