Nancy (Gardner) is an award winning potter with an extensive exhibition record and with work published in The Best of Pottery 1 and 2, The Ceramic Design Book, The Contemporary Potter (Rockport Publishers). Burt (Isenstein) is a sculptor and college art professor. We have been collaborating on our pottery since our first son was born in 1988.
“I believe it is my responsibility as an artist to keep telling stories of our histories. I am obligated to observe the word around me and make some sense of it through visual means. Successfully doing this gives meaning to the social concerns and heightens awareness in each of us.
I’m influenced by the journeys we take in our lives. I am interested in how we travel from one phase of life to another. Sometimes it involves a physical move. Other times it is an emotional shift. How do we make it feel like home? When do we know we are ready to move on? Do we get stuck on concepts of safety and security, or do we honor the opportunity for growth?
I symbolize this through my use of iconic forms: boats, nests, houses…for me these forms hold histories. Where we have been and where we are going.
My primary use of steel gives permanence to these structures, but I push the boundaries by mixing in elements of glass, wire, paper and encaustic to bring a feeling of fragility and the ethereal nature of life.”
Takashi and his wife Terry met at a wood fired kiln site in 1983 and knew immediately they were destined to work together. They decided to break away from Japanese traditions and came to the United States in 1985.
“We were starting on a wonderful journey, and decided to name our studio YUME because of the dream we shared.
When we first came to Massachusetts, we did slideshows and lectures explaining the ancient traditions and modern movements in Japanese ceramics. We always look back to those traditional foundations for inspiration as we create our own vision.
Even after more than 25 years of making pottery we continue our dream of creating pieces that people enjoy and make a part of their lives. Our greatest joy is hearing how our work has enhanced the lives of those it has touched.”