This gem of a shop has been introducing hand-picked Japanese ceramic artists to New Yorkers for nearly 25 years. Fashion designer Kumi Uemura founded the shop and now runs it with her husband Naoki. Selections range from ultra-rare plates, vases and bowls priced in the tens of thousands of dollars to everyday ware that will add beauty to your morning tea or weeknight dinner.
The Uemuras hold regular special exhibitions, including a recent show of works from Ishikawa Prefecture, including transporting lacquerware by Eiko Tanaka and exquisite hand-painted porcelain by Ruri Takeuchi. Another artist Sara shows, Hanako Nakazato, belongs to the fourteenth generation of an ancient line of artisans that began as potters to the powerful Maeda samurai clan.
The Uemuras show works by American artists too, as well as glass, iron and table accessories. They’re even considering mounting a show of works by blacksmith James Garvey, who forged a handsome display table for Sara’s showroom.
While Japanese pottery has not changed, says Naoki Uemura, American tastes have caught up with it, aided by the current tea boom. Shape, size and color don’t matter to his customers, he notes; they care about the energy, spirit and artistry that are captured in the works.