As the devastating waves from a tsunami changed the landscape of Japan forever, many who watched in horror started to ask how they could help those in need. One answer to that question could be yours for the highest bid.
A benefit auction is now underway to collect funds to aid the Global Giving’s Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund, an organization that will help deploy supplies and aid across the country. The auction is part of a project being dubbed “Handmade for Japan”, which was organized just one day after the earthquake on March 12 by Ayumi Horie, Kathryn Pombriant Manzella and Ai Kanazawa.
The eBay auction features the work of artists from the United States and Japan, including one piece from Birdie Boone, a studio potter and an Emory & Henry professor of ceramics.
Although Boone has no direct link to Japan, she says she has always been inspired by the simplicity and honesty of Japanese craft design, especially the Mingei (folk art) movement.
“The ‘Mingei’ aesthetic, beauty in functional and everyday objects, is just smart and is something that we could all use a little of these days,” Boone said.
Boone’s donated original pieces are titled Tea for One. These hand-built pieces include a mid-range redware teapot and cup with a bisque slip and a nichrome wire. Images of cherry buds stream from the top of the teapot.
With more than two days left on the auction, bids for the piece have surpassed $250. Tea for One is just one of several items currently on display at the 1912 Gallery on the campus of Emory & Henry for the Art Faculty Biennial which closes on April 2nd.
The “Handmade for Japan” auction features a wide range of works from an international roster that includes Americans Betty Woodman, Warren Mackenzie, Jeffry Mitchell, Nancy Blum and Jeff Shapiro, Japanese artists Jun Kaneko, Akio Takamori, Hiroe Hanazono and Shoko Teruyama, and Japanese-American artists including auction organizer Ayumi Horie, Junji Miyazawa, Munemitsu Taguchi, and the late Toshiko Takaezu, who passed away earlier this month.
The auction also features a piece by Shoji Hamada, considered by many to be one of the major founders of Mingei movement. The late Japanese potter’s work has a starting bid of $4,000.
Birdie Boone was recently a resident at the Archie Bray Foundation in Montana and the Bray's Lincoln Fellow recipient in 2008. Boone has worked at places such as Watershed Center for Ceramics, Peter's Valley Craft Center, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts and Worcester Craft Center.
Her work is an exploration of domestic intimacy in terms of both physical and emotional nourishment with regard to lifestyle balance. Boone received her BA in Fine Arts from The College of William and Mary in Virginia in 1994 and her MFA in Ceramics from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth’s Artisanry Program in 2005.