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Ceramic artist and honorary NCECA member Toshiko Takaezu passed away peacefully last month at the age of 88. She will be very much missed by the ceramics community.
Born in Hawaii in 1922, Takaezu first studied art at the University of Hawaii in Manoa and then at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. After a visit to Japan in 1955, she taught at Cleveland Institute of Art for about 10 years. She also taught at Princeton University-where she helped to establish the visual art program-until her retirement in 1992. Although she was always teaching and sharing her knowledge, she found time to create a huge inventory of her own ceramic pieces. Takaezu was especially known for her distinctive style of closed vessels inspired by nature and Zen meditation.
Toshiko Takaezu's legacy to the ceramics community lives on through her art and through the many colleagues and students who have learned from her expertise. Several of the artist's friends and colleagues have recently published a scholarly text examining the significance of her work. The book, entitled “The Art of Toshiko Takaezu: In the Language of Silence,” includes essays by Paul Smith, Janet Koplos, and Jack Lenor Larson. For more information about the book (available April 2011), visit http://uncpress.unc.edu/browse/book_detail?title_id=1917.