Ceramicist, Shumpei Yamaki

Shumpei Yamaki was born and raised in Kamakura, Japan. He moved to Philadelphia in 1996 to study dance. He went on to pursue a bachelor’s degree in archaeology at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse.

In 1999, Shumpei was injured in an automobile accident and enrolled in a ceramics class as physical therapy for his arm. He discovered his passion for ceramics, and in 2001 began an apprenticeship under Richard Bresnahan. He learned traditional Japanese pottery techniques, wood-firing, and ways to rely on local resources and resource conservation.

Shumpei went on to graduate studies at the University of Iowa, in 2002, taking full advantage of their strong wood-fire program. In 2005, Shumpei moved to Brooklyn and participated in wood-firings in upstate New York with Tim Rowan and Roger Baumann. He returned to Iowa in 2009, where he is mainly working on functional ceramics and has been experimenting with local clay in his personal endeavors as a wood-fire potter.